I have tooth roots left behind on both sides of my mouth from extractions that a dentist performed in 2016. Now a new dentist will be extracting a premolar on the right side of my mouth. But the roots that were left behind are beneath the tooth. Is this surgery safe? He also says that one root is so large that he needs to remove it. I don’t want to lose another tooth and need a dental implant. Thank you. Luz
Your lower premolar is near the mental foramen, an opening on each side of your lower front jawbone that travels toward the back of your mouth. Although removing a premolar can increase the risk of damaging the foramen’s mental nerve, a careful surgeon knows how to avoid it.
We received a copy of your x-ray, and we can see the tooth roots that were left behind from your previous extraction. On the left side, the entire root is visible, and the bone did not heal correctly. But on the right side, the bone is healed.
Although the dentist who left the roots behind wasn’t thorough, your current dentist’s recommendations will protect your oral health. It will prevent damage to other teeth and the need for a dental implant.
If you want an in-person opinion, you can schedule a second opinion with a dentist who has extensive experience with tooth extractions or can visit an oral surgeon.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, LA, dentist, and Fellow of the American Academy of General Dentistry, sponsors this post.