Endodontic Retreatment Q&A
What does it mean to have a tooth re-treated?
In most cases, a tooth which has been treated with an endodontic procedure heals well and can last a lifetime. However, in some cases, proper healing is not achieved, or the tooth becomes infected again much later, even years afterward. When this occurs, re-treatment can be used to give the tooth a second chance. Patients experiencing pain or swelling in a previously treated tooth should come into the office to have the tooth addressed.
What can cause a tooth to need treatment again?
As sometimes occurs with any dental procedure, following initial treatment a tooth may not heal as it should. This can occur for a number of reasons:
- During the initial procedure, narrow or curved canals were not addressed.
- Complex canal anatomy went unobserved.
- The application of the crown or other restoration device was deferred after the endodontic procedure was complete.
- The restoration device did not stop salivary contamination inside the tooth.
In other instances, a new issue can endanger a tooth which was effected addressed. For example:
- The tooth fractures.
- A loose, cracked, or broken crown or filling can subject the tooth to a different infection.
- New decay can subject the root canal filling substance to bacteria, also resulting in a new infection.
What happens during a re-treatment procedure?
During re-treatment, tooth’s crown will be reopened and the filling materials removed. The endodontist will then thoroughly examine the interior of the tooth, searching for additional canals which were not treated or a new infection. Any infection found will be removed and then the canals will be cleaned and shaped. New filling materials will be placed in the canals. Once again, the opening is sealed with a temporary filling. After the tooth heals, a new crown or other restoration device is secured over the tooth to protect it. If the canals are abnormally narrow or obstructed, the endodontist might suggest endodontic surgery. This surgery entails making an incision to permit the far end of the root to be closed. If re-treatment doesn’t appear to be an option, the tooth will need to be extracted.
Root Canal Retreatment Explained
Sometimes, a tooth that has had root canal treatment may not heal properly and another treatment is needed. Watch this video to understand how root canal retreatment can save your tooth and learn more about the endodontists who specialize in this dental procedure.
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