With a trained and experienced dentist and excellent home oral hygiene, a tooth with 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, Florida, and well beyond seek the expertise of Drs. Ryan Lepore and Erin Dougherty for this determination. Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry takes a concierge, whole-health approach, providing a referral to a trusted endodontist for retreatment, giving 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 toothh
- 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.
HOW IS ROOT CANAL RETREATMENT PERFORMED?
From the patient’s perspective, retreating a root canal with infection is very similar to the first procedure. The endodontist may take a little longer to meticulously identify why 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 left to stay for a minimum of 7-14 days. Using a temporary filling ensures those symptoms are relieved during the healing period. After this period, you will return to Dr. Lepore or Dr. Dougherty to place either a long-term filling or a new crown. Drs. Lepore and Dougherty will educate you on which is more suitable for your unique needs.
If the 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.
Drs. Lepore and Dougherty want 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. Schedule an appointment for a consultation at Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry in Dunedin, FL, by calling (727) 608-4690.
Sometimes, teeth that have had root canal therapy do not heal properly, which can lead to pain and reinfection of the affected tooth.
A root canal re-treatment procedure can be done to remove the infection and save the tooth. The initial root canal treatment may not fully heal due to several causes which may include tooth decay or trauma, where bacteria is allowed to seep back into the root canal and reinfect the tooth.
During a root canal re-treatment procedure, your doctor first removes any existing restorative materials in order to regain access to the root canal. Once the restorative material is removed, the canals are thoroughly cleaned and examined for any additional or misshaped canals that may require treatment. Next, the root is refilled with a special sealing material, and the opening at the top of the tooth is also refilled and sealed. Once the root canal retreatment is complete and the infection removed, your doctor will design and place a new crown over the tooth, restoring it to proper form and function.