Root Canal Retreatment
In the rare case that root canal therapy fails to work as expected, our dentists can provide a root canal retreatment. Root canal retreatment is used to ensure your tooth is properly sealed and corrected.
What is Root Canal Retreatment?
In some cases a treated tooth may not heal properly or a patient might experience post-surgical complications that jeopardize the tooth. Root canal retreatment is almost identical to the original root canal procedure, aside from the structural removal. Root canal retreatment involves the removal of the previous crown and packing material, the cleansing of the root canals, and the re-packing and re-crowning of the tooth.
Root canal treatments and retreatments are a better alternative than tooth extraction for most individuals. If a tooth has good bone support, a solid surface and healthy gums beneath it, it stands a good chance of being saved.
Why would a root canal retreatment be required?
Though the prospect of more endodontic surgery might not be pleasant, root canal retreatment is fairly simple. Generally, the whole treatment can be completed in 1-3 visits.
There are a number of reasons why root canal therapy unexpectedly fails, including:
- Cracked crown leaking filling material
- Curved or narrow canals not treated during the original procedure
- Delay in the placement of restorative devices following the procedure
- New decay to the tooth
- New fracture in the treated tooth
- Saliva entering the restorative structure
- Undetected complex canal structures
What does root canal retreatment involve?
On the day of the retreatment procedure, unless another type of anesthetic has been selected, a local anesthetic will be administered. The affected tooth is isolated with a rubber sheet to protect it during treatment from bacteria and saliva. The amount the dentist can do within a single appointment will greatly depend on the amount of inflammation present, and the complexity of the treatment.
The first step in a root canal retreatment is to gain access to the inner tooth. If a crown and post have been placed, these will need to be removed.
Next, filling material and obstructions that block the root canals will be removed. The dentist will use tiny instruments to clean and reshape the root canals. X-rays may be taken to ensure that the roots are thoroughly clean. If this part of the treatment proves to be complex, medicated packing material will be applied, and the rest of the cleansing procedure will be done at the next visit.
Once the dentist is confident that the root canals are completely clean, gutta-percha is used to pack the space. This rubbery material seals the canals to prevent bacterial invasion. Finally, a temporary crown or filling is applied to tooth. At a later date, the colour-matched permanent crown will be placed.