Root Canal Retreatment: Understanding The Procedure And Whether It's Right For You

Dentist Blog

If you have had a root canal in the past, you may have assumed that the procedure was an infinite fix. In many cases, people have root canals performed, and the treated teeth never give them problems again.

There are cases though that prompt dentists to recommend re-treatment of teeth that have previously had root canals performed on them. The recommendation may puzzle or cause anxiety to some patients, but when this type of recommendation is made, it is in the best interest of patients' health and preserving the affected teeth:

Reasons Re-treatment May Be Necessary

Cracked or loose crowns and loose fillings can expose the underlying teeth that were treated by root canals to bacteria, which can result in reinfection. If you have a crown or filling on a treated tooth, it is imperative that you report to your dentist if they become damaged to reduce the chances of reinfection. This is also a reason why you should always keep dental exams and cleanings because it is possible that you could be unaware of damaged dental work. 

Sometimes crowns are put into place at the same time as the root canal procedure, but dentists may choose to perform the root canals and crown placements during separate visits. If patients do not follow the explicit aftercare directions, it is possible for the root canal area to become reinfected between the procedure and the crown placement. 

What to Expect During Re-treatment

Your dentist will need to gain access to the root canal area of the tooth. This is done by drilling through the tooth. Your dentist may choose to remove all of the restorative materials that were used during the original root canal procedure. The area will need to be cleaned and examined. If there are new roots that need to be treated, your dentist will treat those along with the original roots. This will be followed by installing new restorative materials.  

Sometimes a re-treatment of a root canal is not adequate, and endodontic surgery is needed to seal canals, thwart infection, and ensure proper healing. If endodontic surgery is needed, a temporary crown is put in place until the surgery is performed. A permanent crown will be placed on your tooth after surgery. 

Are There Alternatives to Root Canal Re-treatment

Your dentist will only recommend a re-treatment or surgery if it is possible to save the affected tooth. If you are unwilling to go through the re-treatment procedure or endodontic surgery, the only other alternative would be to get the affected tooth pulled. 

Perhaps you are thinking that sounds like the perfect way to be done with the issue once and for all. There are drawbacks to opting for an extraction. You may need to consider getting additional dental work or a dental appliance installed to prevent shifting of your other teeth. This will also aid in ensuring that you are able to properly chew food.

For example, your dentist may recommend a dental implant, dentures or a bridge to replace extracted teeth. All of these could end up costing you more in terms of time and money. This is why it is sensible to opt for the endodontics treatment solution offered by your dentist, and best of all, you get to keep your natural teeth.

To learn more, contact a company like Washington Township Dental Associates with any questions or concerns you have.


12 March 2015

Give Yourself the Gift of a Beautiful Smile

If you are someone who hesitates to open your mouth when you smile because you are embarrassed about your teeth, you should know that there are a number of cosmetic techniques that can give you a beautiful smile you will be proud to show to the world. As a cosmetic dentist, I have seen many clients transform their lives simply by fixing their smiles. This blog is meant to encourage people to find out about the possibilities in cosmetic dentistry so they can feel good about their smiles. A beautiful, confident smile really can change your life. I would love to show you how.