A tooth that has had a root canal treatment is usually at less risk than other teeth for further problems. We take pride in the longevity of our root canal treatments, and the pain relief and improved health our patients experience is long lasting.
However, occasionally teeth that have had a root canal treatment experience complications long after the initial treatment. In case of these complications, you may need a root canal retreatment.
Despite dental professionals’ best efforts, sometimes infection sets in again on a tooth that has previously had a root canal treatment. First, as always, your dentist will speak with you about your options and answer any questions you might have.
If you both decide that a root canal retreatment is the best option for you, our team will reopen the affected tooth and remove the material that was used to fill the cavity. Next, we will thoroughly clean the canals inside your tooth.
After a comprehensive cleaning, we will carefully inspect the interior of the tooth to make sure there are no anomalies or unexpected features that could have contributed to this reinfection. Our team will use all the dental technology at our disposal to make sure we haven’t missed anything.
If Dr. Olson discovers anything unusual, like blocked or unusually narrow canals, we may recommend endodontic surgery to prevent any future problems.
After this checkup and cleaning, we will fill the cavity left behind in the tooth and seal it. Just like with a traditional root canal, you will likely need to have a crown placed over the tooth afterwards.
It may sound obvious, but the most significant sign that you need a root canal retreatment is if you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity in a tooth that has previously had a root canal. It’s important to note that root canal complications can arise anywhere from days to years after the initial root canal, so it’s important to stay aware of your dental health.
Small abscesses may go unnoticed for long periods of time, but they can slowly build to a problem that calls for a root canal retreatment. By visiting your dentist on a regular schedule and staying on top of your checkups, you and your dentist will be able to catch these minor problems before they develop.
If you’ve never had a root canal before, you won’t have to worry about a root canal retreatment. Just keep in mind that any severe dental pain is always worth visiting your dentist for!
If you are opposed to a root canal retreatment, you may be able to have an endodontic surgery instead. This surgery involves making an incision to directly access the tip of the tooth’s root.
However, no treatment at all is not a viable option. An infected tooth can’t heal itself, and postponing treatment will make the eventual solution more complicated and will cause you unnecessary pain in the process.
As you debate the pros and cons of retreatment compared to surgery, keep your dentist in the loop. We are happy to answer questions and to give you personalized advice so that you can go into your treatment of choice with complete confidence.
If you’ve had a root canal in the past and are concerned about pain or sensitivity today, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible! We look forward to curing your pain and restoring your smile.