With good hygiene and routine checkups, most teeth that are treated endodontically will last as long as your natural teeth. However, there are some root canals that fail to heal. You may continue to have pain, sometimes not until months or years after treatment. Retreating the root canal gives the tooth a second chance to heal.
Improper healing may be caused by:
- Bacteria and diseased pulp tissue that could not be removed during the first treatment.
- Complicated canals that weren’t detected, or curved and narrow canals that weren’t treated during the initial procedure.
- A restoration or crown which was not placed within the appropriate period of time following the root canal procedure. This can cause bacteria from saliva to contaminate the root canal system.
An injury to the tooth.
In some cases, new problems can affect a tooth that was successfully treated:
- New decay can expose the root canal filling material, causing infection.
- A cracked or loose filling or crown can cause leakage into the tooth and cause a new infection.
During retreatment, your tooth will be reopened to gain access to the previous root canal filling material. Under the operating microscope the doctor will clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that require treatment. Once cleaned and disinfected, the doctor will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.
Following retreatment we will send a report with digital x-rays to your restorative dentist. Please contact their office for a follow-up permanent restoration 2 to 4 weeks after treatment is completed at our office. Your dentist will decide what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.