Are you experiencing dental pain, sensitivity, or swelling after having root canal treatment? While most root canal treatments are successful for a lifetime, up to five percent require endodontic retreatment to address recurrent infection. Endodontic retreatment offers a second chance to save your tooth while promoting oral health.
Our team at Georgia Microendodontics uses the most advanced dental technology available for optimal care. We strive to treat every patient the same way we would treat our own family.
When is Endodontic Retreatment Necessary?
Endodontic retreatment is recommended when there is a continuing problem after root canal therapy. These issues may be lingering following initial treatment – or they may surface months, or even years, after your first root canal procedure.
What Causes Root Canal Treatment Failure?
As with any other surgical or dental procedure, outcomes cannot be guaranteed. Failure following root canal treatment can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common culprits include:
- Complicated anatomy that was not detected during your initial root canal treatment
- Curved, hidden, or narrow canals that were missed during your initial procedure
- Delayed placement of a crown restoration after a root canal
- Improper placement or seal of a restorative crown that allowed salivary contamination inside the tooth
In addition, new dental problems can arise which compromise a previously successful treatment, such as:
- A broken, cracked, or loose dental crown that exposes your tooth to a new infection
- New dental decay that allows bacteria to enter the root canal filling material
- A fracture, which leaves the tooth vulnerable to bacterial infection
About the Procedure
To begin endodontic retreatment, local anesthesia is administered to numb the affected area. We also offer nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation to induce relaxation and keep you comfortable. Patients who choose oral sedation will need a friend or family member to drive them to and from the appointment.
Once you are completely numb, your doctor reopens the root canal-treated tooth to gain access. The filling material and the gutta-percha from your prior root canal treatment is removed. Next, your endodontist uses a microscope to examine the internal tooth surfaces and identify any hidden canals that could be causing your symptoms. The tooth is then cleaned and disinfected.
After the infection has been removed, the root canals are reshaped and filled with new gutta-percha. This rubber-like substance protects and seals your tooth. Finally, the tooth is sealed with a filling to prevent recontamination.
Recovery after Endodontic Retreatment
Healing after endodontic retreatment is quite similar to recovery after your initial root canal procedure. Patients can expect some degree of tenderness and discomfort. These side effects can be successfully managed with over-the-counter and prescription medications. Occasional saltwater rinses can help soothe the area as well.
Follow all postoperative instructions provided by your doctor. These include keeping the treatment area clean and chewing on the opposite side of the mouth for a few days. Be sure to attend any follow-up visits to ensure that you are healing as expected.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you are experiencing symptoms in a tooth that has had previous root canal therapy, you should seek immediate help with an endodontist. Delaying treatment could increase pain and cost you more time and money in the long run.
To schedule a consultation at Georgia Microendodontics, reach out to one of our knowledgeable team members. We are standing by to answer any questions you have. Contact us online anytime.