With the appropriate care, teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, as occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure a tooth may not heal as expected. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed. Whenever possible, it is best to save your natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime
Improper healing or a failing root canal may be caused by:
- Curved or narrow canals were not treated during the initial treatment.
- Complicated canals went undetected during the initial treatment.
- Broken or separated instruments.
- Perforations through the root into surrounding tissues and bone.
- 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.
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 filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.
- A tooth sustains a fracture.
Retreatment usually involves reopening your tooth to gain access to the prior root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The canals will be cleaned and carefully examined. Once cleaned, the doctor will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the access opening. At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.