A Short Case Study: What to Do When the Pin Drops In

Rico D. Short, DMD


A patient went to his general dentist’s office because he broke tooth No. 5. He was not in any pain. His dentist used a pin in an effort to build the tooth up for a core and then a crown. All of a sudden, the patient said, the pin just dropped in. The dentist thought the pin had perforated the tooth.

The dentist immediately referred the patient to our office. The pin actually went into the mesiobuccal canal with a live nerve. The pin was removed with the aid of ultrasonics and a microscope. This tooth had 3 roots and an unusually wide pulp chamber. That’s why the pin “sunk in.” I was able to remove the pin, and I finished the case endodontically in one visit.

Figure 1. The pre-op x-ray of tooth No. 5 shows the broken pin. Figure 2. The next x-ray shows the pin removed.
Figure 3. The following x-ray shows the completion of the case and 3 separate roots.

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Rico D. Short, DMD, attended the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) School of Dentistry to attain a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 1999. In 2002, he earned his postdoctorate degree in endodontics from Nova Southeastern University and became a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics in 2009. Dr. Short is an expert consultant in endodontics to the Georgia Board of Dentistry and assistant clinical professor at the Dental College of Georgia in Augusta. Dr. Short also has published articles in several magazines and peer-reviewed journals including Dentistry Today, Inside Dentistry, Rolling Out Magazine, Upscale Magazine, and the Journal of Endodontics. He has lectured throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Dr. Short is endorsed by the American Association of Endodontists speakers bureau, and his private practice, Apex Endodontics PC, is located in Smryna, Ga. Dr. Short also has authored a book, Getting to the Root of Your Problem: 365 Days of Inspirational Thinking.

Other Short Case Studies

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A Maxillary First Molar With Two Palatal Canals

The Necrotic No. 2 Tooth