Combining an experienced and well-trained dentist with excellent at-home oral hygiene will ensure that a tooth with a root canal will be trouble-free for many years or even a lifetime. Even when everything is done perfectly, there are still a small number of cases where retreatment of the tooth becomes necessary for preservation. This is often due to recontamination or reinfection of the treated tooth. Patients in the Tampa, Florida area and beyond seek the assistance of Drs. Angela Rasmussen and Amanda Del Cueto’s expertise at Gentle Dentistry for this determination. When necessary, a referral to a trusted endodontist for retreatment will be made to give you every chance to save your tooth.
Why Does a Root Canal Fail?
When a tooth undergoes endodontic therapy, the existing bacteria, infection, blood supply, and nerves are removed from the tooth’s interior. While it may seem like all of this can just be scooped out, the task is quite complex, and, even with advanced diagnostic capabilities using endodontic instruments, an additional root canal may become necessary because of:
- Undetected canal anatomy during the initial procedure due to its complexity
- Curved or narrow canals which escaped treatment
- A failure to securely seal the tooth after the root canal, which allows additional bacteria to penetrate the tooth
- A failure to promptly place the dental crown following the initial procedure
- A breakdown of the crown cement, allowing further infiltration or contaminating bacteria into the tooth
- The development of new decay, allowing new infections to build in filled canals
- A crown that has come loose or broken, exposing the tooth to new bacteria
- Physical trauma to the tooth, including a fracture
How Is Retreatment Performed?
From the patient’s viewpoint, root canal retreatment is very similar to the initial root canal. For the endodontist, it can take a little longer as they need to identify the underlying reason for the failure of the initial root canal.
The patient’s comfort is ensured via anesthesia as the doctor enters the tooth through the existing crown or filling to examine any internal structures via magnification and illumination. The tooth’s canals are again cleaned and sealed, then protected using an interim restoration. The tooth is typically sealed with a temporary filling which will be left in place for 7-14 days. This gives plenty of time to ensure that the symptoms have been relieved during this initial healing period. You will then return to Gentle Dentistry to get your long-term filling or a dental crown placed. At this time, our team will look for any developing infection at the tip of the tooth’s root. If it has, endodontic surgery may be recommended.
Call Us Today!
To learn more about root canal retreatment, please visit our team at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida. To schedule a consultation, please call (813) 734-7102.