Unfortunately, as with any dental or medical procedure, there are times when a treatment is not as successful as anticipated, or when a tooth does not heal as expected after the initial root canal or endodontic therapy. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to): missed canals, inadequate disinfection, contamination from a ill-fitting crown or restoration, recurrent caries, fracture of a restoration or tooth, trauma, or root fracture.
Oftentimes this is still a problem that can be fixed via endodontic retreatment (or re-doing the root canal) to address the underlying problem that caused failure.
First, Dr. Newman will assess your tooth and both the radiographs and three-dimensional imaging. After determining the source of the problem, she will discuss with you your treatment options. If you and Dr. Newman choose retreatment, the process is similar to your original root canal. Similar to the original root canal, you will be thoroughly anesthetized. Then, Dr. Newman will re-access the internal component of your tooth in order to gain access to the old root canal filling material. This usually involves removing part of the filling material. Once the old filling material is removed, the tooth can then be properly cleaned. Dr. Newman will examine the internal component of the tooth using illumination and intense magnification from the microscope. This allows the Endodontist to search for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires special treatment and disinfection.
Oftentimes, a retreatment of a root canal is necessary because of infection, and sometimes the tooth needs to be medicated for a certain amount of time to remove the bacteria. Once the canals are thoroughly cleaned, they will be sealed and a filling will be placed in the tooth.
After Dr. Newman completes the retreatment, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to its full function.
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