Root canals are designed to save teeth that are severely damaged or infected. With the proper care, a tooth that’s been treated with a root canal can last a lifetime. However, while this treatment is over 95% successful, there is a remote possibility that your dentist will recommend that you have yours redone. Here’s why you may need root canal retreatment in Edmond and what you can expect when repairing your smile.
Top Reasons Why Root Canals Need to Be Redone
As with any dental procedure, there’s a small chance that a tooth won’t heal as expected after being treated. This could be due to a variety of reasons, like:
- Complicated canal anatomy: Bacterial could potentially hide in narrow, curved, or complicated canals that weren’t treated during the initial procedure.
- Delayed crown placement: If there was a sizeable delay between completing the root canal and placing the crown, bacteria could have attacked and infected the vulnerable tooth.
- Salivary contamination: In some cases, the restoration may not have completely sealed the tooth, allowing salivary contamination inside it.
Additionally, a new problem could threaten a tooth that was successfully treated, including:
- New decay: if new decay forms near the treated tooth, it can expose the root canal filling inside to bacteria and cause a new infection in the tooth.
- Restoration damage: If the crown or filling becomes loose or cracked, bacteria can seep through and attack the inside of the tooth, causing a new infection.
- Tooth damage: If the treated tooth sustains a crack or fracture in either its crown or roots, bacteria can access the inner layers and infect them.
What to Expect During Root Canal Retreatment
Having your root canal redone will be very similar to your first procedure. If it’s been some time since your first root canal, your dentist may use new techniques, technologies, and numbing medication to make your treatment more effective and comfortable than previously. Once your mouth has been numbed, your dentist will remove the dental crown (if necessary) and reopen the tooth. Then, they’ll remove the canal filling as well as any tissue that was previously untreated or is newly infected.
They’ll use a combination of illumination, magnification, and other equipment to carefully search for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that require treatment. The tooth is then disinfected, refilled, and sealed with a temporary filling or crown. Shortly afterwards, you’ll return to your dentist’s office to have the final restoration placed.
Tips for Keeping Your Smile Healthy
Now that your tooth has been repaired once again, it’s important to take care of it properly to keep it healthy. Great oral hygiene is essential for protecting your teeth from bacteria, so remember to:
- Brush with fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes twice a day.
- Floss with high-quality or waxed floss daily and rinse with mouthwash regularly.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for routine dental checkups and cleanings.
No one wants to hear that they need another root canal. However, investing in retreatment is well worth having a healthy, functioning, and natural tooth for many years to come.
About the Author
Since 1988, Dr. M. Kent Smith has been keeping the smiles of Edmond happy, healthy, and fully intact. He always strives to help his patients prevent oral health issues with regular preventive care and routine checkups. However, he also offers sedation dentistry and same-day emergency appointments to make treatments like root canals as comfortable and effective as possible. If you have concerns about your root canal, he can be contacted via his website or at (405) 341-7773.