With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue to exist. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed.
What is Endodontic Retreatment?
Endodontic retreatment describes a dental root canal procedure procedure that is carried out on a tooth that has previously had root canal treatment. For this reason it is also called “repeat root canal treatment”.
One reason for endodontic retreatment is failure of the initial endodontic procedure: Recurrence of symptoms, infection such as dental abscess may occur.
Endodontic treatment may fail for many reasons. One common reason for failure is inadequate chemomechanical debridement of the root canal. This may be due to poor endodontic access, missed anatomy or inadequate shaping of the canal, particularly in the apical third of the root canal.
Endodontic failure of improper healing may be caused by:
- Curved or narrow canals were not treated during the initial treatment.
- Complicated canals went undetected during the initial treatment.
- The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
- The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.
Exposure of the obturation material to the oral environment may mean the gutta-percha is contaminated with oral bacteria. If complex and expensive restorative dentistry is contemplated then ideally the contaminated gutta percha would be replaced in a retreatment procedure to minimise the risk of failure.
Endodontic retreatment is technically demanding; typical 5 year success rates are around 60% compared to around 85% for initial root-canal treatment. It can be time consuming procedure also as meticulous care is required by the dentist. Complex retreatment cases are often referred to a specialist, such as Dr. Dennis Eguchi.
In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated. New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection. A cracked or loose restoration can expose the tooth to new infection. Once retreatment has been selected as a solution to your problem, the doctors will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The doctors will now clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the doctors will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.
At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.