Will Having To Get A Root Canal Affect My Premaxillary Implant?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I figured that I would check with you to be on the safe side about root canal treatment. I had a scan done when I was looking into getting a missing tooth replaced.  They informed me that I have an infection above another tooth and suggested that I go to another dentist and get a root canal. I wanted to check with you to be on the safe side since my premaxillary implant is in that region.Is there anything that the doctor should be aware of. 

A: Having to get a root canal and having an implant in the immediate overlying area is extremely pertinent. Because they have to give local anesthetic injections there are two considerations:

  1. There is a very good chance that local anesthetic injections may not work as they rely on diffusion and the implant will likely block it from having an effect. If you look at a picture of the general area where the implant is and the location of the tooth in question (right upper canine) you can see that they are ‘neighbors’. 
  2. There is an equally good chance that the local anesthetic injection will be injected right into the implant, which besides not having it work, could get the implant infected.

Thus it would be prudent that I speak to the treating dentist so they are aware of this issue and devise an anesthetic approach that will work as well as avoid causing an implant infection.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana