Is A Root Canal Retreatment In Your Future?

If you are experiencing pain in a tooth that has previously undergone a root canal treatment, you may need a second root canal. A second root canal on the same tooth is referred to as a retreatment. 

What Prompts A Retreatment

The vast majority of root canal treatments are successful the first time through. However, a small percentage of people who have a root canal done will need to have that same tooth treated again at some point down the road. The causes behind a retreatment can vary but are generally caused by one of the following issues:

  • a crown that has cracked
  • a crown that is leaking the filling 
  • a crack in the tooth
  • a shift in the structure of your mouth
  • decay in the tooth
  • new fracture inside the tooth
  • and undetected secondary root canals or very small and curved root canals that were not originally reached.

Most of these causes will create pain in your mouth, which will lead to your dentist examining your teeth. If one of the above conditions are present, in order to fix the issue, your dentist may recommend that you get a root canal retreatment. 

Who Performs A Retreatment

If your general dentist has the skills to perform a root canal procedure, then he or she could perform your root canal retreatment as well.

However, if your general dentist feels like your case is complicated, they may recommend you see an endodontist who specializes in oral surgery. If you have secondary roots or if your roots look very small and curved, an endodontist will have the specialized tools required to take care of your tooth.

What Happens During A Retreatment

A root canal retreatment is very similar to a root canal treatment. The area around the affected tooth will be numbed and a dental dam will be placed in your mouth in order to stabilize the surgery location.

The biggest difference between a retreat and a regular root canal occurs during the next step. Any crowns, posts or filling material that has been installed in your tooth will need to be removed. The first time your tooth was worked on, there should not have been any crowns or posts to remove. This added process makes the retreatment a little longer than the original process.

Next, any additional material that may obstruct the dentist from doing their job will be removed with a very small tool that vibrates any loose tooth debris. Then, your dentist will use very small tools in order to clean out all of your roots. If you have any curves or twists in your roots, or any secondary roots, your dentist will use specialized tools to clean out these sections of your roots. 

After that, your dentist will clean out the root canal site. Depending on the condition of your tooth, they may start the process of installing a new temporary crown, or they may have put some temporary filling inside of your tooth and have you wait a few weeks for your tooth to heal before you start on the process of installing a permanent crown.

Although the process may feel strange to you, it is something your dentist and endodontist see and deal with on a daily basis; professional dentists, like those at Round Lake Dental Clinic, will be able to walk you through the process and answer any additional questions you have.