Most teeth that have had root canal therapy can last as long as other natural teeth. In some cases, a tooth that has had endodontic treatment fails to heal. Occasionally, the tooth can become painful or diseased months or even years after successful root canal therapy. If your tooth has not healed or has developed new problems, you have a second chance at saving your tooth. Another procedure, endodontic retreatment [root canal retreatment] may be performed by your endodontist. As with any dental or medical procedures, occasionally, a tooth may fail to heal following the initial treatment for several reasons:
The final restoration was delayed following endodontic treatment.
During initial treatment, narrow or curved canals were not properly cleansed.
Sometimes a new problem can develop in a tooth that was successfully treated during the initial procedure. These include:
A fracture occurs.
New decay develops, exposing the canal to bacteria and a new infection. Infection can occur if the crown or filling becomes loose or cracked.
If retreatment is necessary, using a microscope, your endodontist will reopen the tooth. After extracting the filling material, the canals will be thoroughly cleaned and carefully examined to see if additional canals are present that require treatment. Once the canals are comprehensively cleaned, your endodontist will place a temporary filling. Endodontic surgery or Apicoectomy may be necessary if the canals are very narrow or calcified.. After retreatment is completed, within two weeks, you will need to see your dentist for the final restoration. If possible, preserving your natural tooth is always the best option. Teeth that have been restored with a filling or crown can last for years, even a lifetime. Because technological and procedural methods are always changing, your endodontist may utilize new methods that were not attainable during your initial root canal treatment. Retreatment may improve the condition of your tooth. Your endodontist will discuss your chances of successful treatment prior to the procedure.
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