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A Dental Do-Over: Reasons for a Root Canal Retreatment

January 18, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 11:35 am
A woman seeing a dentist for a root canal retreatment

Most patients feel a bit spent after a root canal. Though glad their tooth is saved, they’re worn out and don’t want to repeat the earlier procedure. Sadly, though, some people may need to redo their root canal later. The initial treatment doesn’t work in these cases, leading to a second round of care. As for the details, your Lancaster dentist can explain things. Here are the most common reasons for a root canal retreatment.

Why Get a Root Canal Retreatment?

Root canals have a long-term success rate of roughly 80-95%. However, they can go wrong on occasion. You’ll need to re-do the procedure if something goes amiss. Reasons to do so include:

Your Tooth Didn’t Heal as Expected

At times, a treated tooth won’t heal correctly after a root canal. This iffy healing usually stems from one (or more) of the following:

  • Delayed Crown Placement – If a dentist delays crown placement too long, bacteria may attack and infect the treated tooth.
  • Saliva Contamination –  Saliva can easily get into your tooth if it isn’t fully sealed. Should that happen, the pearly white’s innards may get damaged.
  • Complex Canal Anatomy – Bacteria that hide inside narrow, curved, or complex canals may escape the initial procedure. In that case, they could re-infect the tooth.

A New Problem Threatens Your Tooth

Even if the tooth heals correctly, it may develop a new problem over time. This extra issue could undermine your first treatment and force you to get a second one.

  • Tooth Damage –If the treated tooth sustains a crack or fracture, bacteria may reach its inner layers and infect it.
  • Restoration Damage –Bacteria can seep into the tooth when its crown or filling cracks or loosens.
  • New Decay – New decay can create an opening for bacteria, allowing the latter to reach and infect the same tooth.

How Does a Retreatment Work?

Since it’s a redo, a root canal retreatment is almost identical to the first procedure. Both of these services follow most (if not all) of the same steps.

A given retreatment is often pretty simple. First, a dentist will numb your mouth so you don’t feel pain from their work. They’ll next remove your crown and “open” the affected tooth. Once the opening is made, the dentist and their team will remove the filling and any tissue that went untreated. (This last step uses tools to search for extra canals or anatomy that require treatment.)

True, not every patient needs a root canal retreatment. That said, remember the factors above – they’ll help you prepare just in case.

About the Practice

Lancaster Family Smiles is based in Lancaster, TX. Led by Dr. Mahima Gupta, our practice strives to give each patient quality dental care. We thus offer preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services, as well as emergency dentistry. The latter’s urgent care options even include root canal retreatment and dental sedation services. For more details or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (469)-729-7707.

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