With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue to exist. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed.

Improper Healing

Improper healing may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals that were not treated during the initial treatment.
  • Complicated canals that went undetected during the initial treatment.
  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
  • The crown or restoration that did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.

Improper Healing

Improper healing may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals that were not treated during the initial treatment.
  • Complicated canals that went undetected during the initial treatment.
  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
  • The crown or restoration that did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.

New Problems

In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:

  • New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

Once retreatment has been selected as a solution to your problem, the doctors will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The doctors will now clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the doctors will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.

At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.

New Problems

In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:

  • New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

Once retreatment has been selected as a solution to your problem, the doctors will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The doctors will now clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the doctors will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.

At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.

Have Root Canal Therapy Questions?

Having dental work done can be a daunting experience, especially if you need major work like a root canal. Sometimes, knowing a little bit more about the procedure and what to expect can help to put your mind at ease.

As the name suggests, endodontic retreatment is a process by which a cracked tooth is refilled. This may happen if there was a previous root canal, but the tooth becomes reinfected. Instead of doing a new root canal, the dentist will go in and get rid of the material that is infected or will look for a new hole that has grown.

It might be difficult for you to have this procedure because you feel that you already just got one. This treatment is often a response to an incorrectly healed surgery. You should go in with a good attitude though. Your root canal will last a lifetime if done properly or re-addressed sufficiently. The American Association of Endodontists is confident that you can get the longevity of this kind from a root canal. Make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions prior to surgery.

Unfortunately, unlike your initial root canal, this treatment will require two visits to the doctor. During the first visit, the dentist will remove all of the old root canal materials in the tooth. The professional will then place an anti-bacterial paste in the tooth called calcium hydroxide. Then, the tooth is closed off with this filled and allowed to let the substance work on the area. During the second trip, the substance is removed and replaced with a new filling. The tooth is then sealed.

Obviously, with any second treatment, the dentist will have to be more careful to ensure that the treatment works. The tooth can be fractured again. The second filling is still temporary. The dentist will have to check on it to make sure the tooth has healed and then remove this filling. This is what makes the endodontic retreatment procedure labor-intensive. People have to keep tabs on the process so that the tooth does not fracture again or become reinfected.

The success rate of this procedure is only 65%. Those who get this surgery must be aware of the cost-benefit going into it. There are other options as well, such as extraction or a dental implant. Most people who are getting the surgery want to make sure that the tooth is preserved. They want to have their best shot at keeping their natural teeth. For this reason, people might choose to take their chances and give the root canal route a second chance.

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