With a trained and experienced dentist and excellent home oral hygiene, a tooth that has had root canal therapy can provide many years of trouble-free service – even a lifetime. Yet in a small percentage of cases, retreatment is necessary to preserve the tooth, frequently due to recontamination or reinfection of the tooth. Patients from Palm Harbor, Clearwater Beach, Tarpon Springs, Largo, Dunedin, FL and well beyond seek Dr. Ryan Lepore’s expertise for this determination. He takes a concierge, whole-health approach providing referral to a trusted endodontist for retreatment that gives you another chance to keep your own tooth.
Why a root canal could fail
Root canal therapy removes all traces of bacterial invasion, infection, blood supply, and nerves from the interior of a tooth. The task is quite complex. Even with advanced diagnostic modalities and endodontic instruments, a second procedure could be necessary because:
- Complicated canal anatomy was not detected in the initial procedure.
- Narrow or curving canals escaped treatment.
- The tooth was not securely sealed, allowing oral bacteria to infiltrate.
- A crown was not placed promptly after the procedure.
- Crown cement seal breaking down over time allowing infiltration and recontamination of the tooth
- New decay developed, allowing infection to build in filled root canals.
- A loose or broken crown exposed the tooth to bacteria.
- The tooth suffered trauma, such as a fracture.
Dunedin, FL dentist explains how root canal retreatment is performed
From the patient’s perspective, retreating a root canal with infection is very similar to the first procedure. It may, however, take a little longer for the endodontist to meticulously identify the underlying reason the tooth did not heal properly, or the new problem occurred.
Your comfort is ensured with thorough numbing. The doctor will usually reenter the tooth through your existing crown or filling and examines the internal structures using illumination and magnification. Canals are cleaned and sealed again, then protected with an interim restoration. It is usually sealed with a temporary filling material that is left to stay for a minimum for 7-14 days. The use of a temporary filling assures that symptoms are relieved during the healing period. After this period, you will return to Dr. Lepore to place either a long-term filling or a new crown. Dr. Lepore will educate you on which one is more suitable for your unique needs.
If infection has developed at the tip of the root, endodontic surgery may be recommended. This involves a small incision providing access to the root tip.
Dr. Lepore wants to help you keep your own teeth and enjoy comfortable oral function. Please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment, no matter who performed the initial root canal procedure or why retreatment is needed. You will be welcomed warmly for consultation at Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry in Dunedin, FL – (727) 608-4690.