When cared for properly, most teeth with root canals can last as long as any other natural tooth. There are times when a tooth that has had a root canal fails to heal, or the tooth becomes painful or diseased months or years after a successful root canal. It is in these situations that a re treatment may be recommended by your dentist.
Why do I need retreatment?
As with any medical or dental procedure, 100% success is never guaranteed or realistic. A failed root canal procedure can occur because of:
- Narrow or curved canals that were missed during the root canal procedure
- Complicated canal anatomy that was missed during the procedure
- Patient delaying final restoration of tooth with recommended crown or other procedure
- Salivary contamination inside of the tooth
In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated. New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth. A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to a new infection. A tooth sustains a fracture.
What does the procedure involve?
Retreatment is very similar to a traditional root canal. During the procedure the canals are opened so that the dentist has access to the root anal filling material, which is removed and the canal is cleaned. After cleaning the canal the canal is refilled and the tooth is re-restored with most commonly a crown.
Retreatment is not always as successful as the initial root canal procedure and therefore in some situations your dentist may discuss success rates of re treatment with you to determine if it is worthwhile pursuing, or if it may be better to consider extracting the tooth instead. Either way, our dentists are here to help you every step of the way!