In most cases, root canal therapy is a one-time treatment. It has the potential to provide a lifetime of restored function to a badly damaged tooth! Unfortunately, though, there are some cases where a tooth must undergo a second root canal. What are some reasons for root canal retreatment? What can you expect during the procedure? Read on to learn the answers.
Reasons for Root Canal Retreatment
There are essentially two reasons why root canal retreatment might be necessary:
- The first treatment was not 100% successful. Some experts estimate that more than 90% of root canals are successful. A handful are not successful because thoroughly cleaning the infected tissue out of a tooth can be extremely challenging. If infected tissue gets left behind, it can necessitate root canal retreatment.
- There is new damage or a new infection. Following root canal therapy, a tooth does not become invulnerable to new problems. If the crown on top of your treated tooth does not fit well or you do not adhere to wise oral care practices, you could develop a fresh infection and need a second root canal treatment.
Keep in mind that root canal retreatment might be required at any time, even years or decades after the initial procedure. You should always be diligent about caring for your smile and monitoring your oral health.
What to Expect During Endodontic Retreatment
During root canal retreatment, a dentist or specialist carefully accesses a tooth’s interior and cleans out the gutta-percha (a special filling material) that was used during the initial procedure. Then, they strive to thoroughly clean out the tooth to get rid of any infections, end your toothache, and preserve your tooth.
It is also possible that you will undergo a special type of root canal retreatment known as an apioectomy. This procedure, typically performed by an oral surgeon or endodontist, involves creating an incision in the gums in order to gain direct access to a tooth’s root tip and remove damaged tissue. This can be a valuable procedure in cases where a tooth has complex anatomy that makes it difficult to clean out a tooth while accessing its interior from its top.
Whichever type of treatment you undergo, you can be confident that your care team will do all they can to promote your comfort. With the help of local anesthesia and sedation, you may feel little to nothing during your procedure.
The prospect of undergoing root canal retreatment may seem intimidating or even frightening. However, it is important to remember that preserving your natural dentition is important! A well-performed procedure could provide you with a lifetime of benefits.
Meet the Practice
Here at Piney Point Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Steve Koo and our team perform a number of complex procedures, including apioectomies. If you believe that a previous root canal is failing, we would be happy to assess the situation and let you know your options. Contact our Houston practice at 713-783-5560.