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Root Canal Treatment on a Wisdom Tooth

Wisdom teeth are most prone to dental decay as it is located posteriorly and has wrinkled occlusal anatomy. This leads to plaque accumulation and also hinders the proper cleaning of the tooth surface. Most of the third molar has an abnormal eruption pattern and may lead to periodontal and gingival diseases. Owing to all these factors, wisdom tooth removal is usually considered the choice of treatment. But, sometimes retention of the third molar is essential and hence, the need for a root canal treatment may arise.

Before going ahead with the third molar root canal, the dentist should have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the anatomical morphology of the tooth. The anatomy of the third molar differs from other teeth in the oral cavity. The roots of the third molar are usually fused and are not distinct. These differences impact the ability to perform the treatment. There are some factors that help in deciding whether the root canal treatment should be considered as the choice of treatment for the third molar or not.

Antagonist Tooth

The tooth in the opposite arch on which a particular tooth bite is known as an antagonist tooth. This tooth plays a major role in making any given tooth functional. If a person has both upper and lowers wisdom teeth, then it is a good choice to save the tooth with the help of root canal treatment.

Suitable for Crown

After the root canal procedure is completed, it is essential to give a crown, especially to the molars for extra strength. Sometimes, the wisdom teeth are very short and have excessive gum tissue that makes the crown delivery very difficult. The life of the tooth may get compromised due to the lack of a crown.

Proximity to Inferior Alveolar Nerve

The tips of roots of lower wisdom teeth are sometimes very near to the inferior alveolar nerve. If the nerves get damaged, then there are chances of a long-lasting negative impact in the mouth.


The endodontist should study the morphology of the tooth and its roots by taking an x-ray and then deciding the feasibility of the treatment. In many cases, where the third molar has erupted properly and is in occlusion, a root canal can be performed easily and helps in increasing the longevity of the tooth. A tooth with favorable anatomy and restorability should surely be saved through a root canal. Thus, it is important to have a clear perception to avoid any complication while doing the root canal treatment of the third molar.