A root canal treatment (or endodontic therapy) is indicated when the soft tissue inside a tooth dies due to infection or injury; this can happen after an injury such as a crack or deep filling or after dental procedures such as dental extraction. A root canal procedure may remove an abscess and save the tooth. A root canal procedure involves removing the pulp (living tissue) from inside the tooth and then cleaning, shaping, and debriding (cleaning) the canals of any infection. However, the tooth may sometimes fail to recover completely after a root canal. This is when you may need to see a Brooklyn endodontic re-treatment specialist.
Why Do Root Canals Fail?
The root canal could fail for several reasons, including poor technique during the first root canal treatment, failure to remove all of the bacteria from inside the tooth or surrounding tissues, or concealed structural damage to the tooth. If you have had a root canal that has failed and your Brooklyn endodontic specialist recommends a second procedure, the most common reasons are:
- The root canal was incomplete or missed significant portions of infected tissue, which can happen when a tooth is inflamed and swollen during treatment. It may cause the tooth to fail to heal correctly after root canal therapy.
- There is more than one dental infection in your mouth, especially if in different teeth. For example, a tooth may have an infection in its root canal, and a neighboring tooth may have an adjacent abscess. If both teeth are not treated simultaneously, or if debris from one tooth is carried into another through blood or lymph channels, both teeth can fail to heal following root canal therapy. Many endodontic specialists will recommend that both teeth be treated simultaneously to avoid this complication.
- A tooth with root canal treatment may fail to heal correctly due to genetic factors. It is not uncommon for teeth of an identical twin to fail to heal following root canal therapy, while the twin’s other teeth recover completely with dental treatment.
What Does Endodontic Retreatment Involve?
Re-treatment involves removing all of the root canal filling material and thoroughly cleaning the entire root canal length. Bacteria can grow even in a thoroughly cleaned root canal, so another vital part of endodontic re-treatment is ensuring no spaces or gaps between your tooth’s roots where bacteria could hide. It is often done by thoroughly “shaving” or shaping your tooth’s roots.
The endodontic specialist then fills the cleaned root canal with a unique filling material that bonds to your tooth’s root structure. It usually results in a more effective seal against bacterial penetration, resulting in better tissue healing.
A second root canal can help eliminate infection and save your tooth.
In summary, endodontic re-treatment is usually done to remove infection and save the tooth. However, it’s important to note that endodontic re-treatment can be more complicated than the first root canal procedure due to scar tissue formation inside your tooth. Although successful re-treatment can result in long-term success for an infected or failed root canal-treated tooth, it is crucial to seek treatment from an experienced and qualified endodontic specialist.