3 Reasons Why You May Need Root Canal Retreatment

3 Reasons Why You May Need Root Canal Retreatment

Although root canal treatment is associated with a high success rate, there is a small chance that you might need a retreatment in the future. If that happens, it’s important to have a skilled dentist perform the retreatment to ensure your tooth is properly protected.

The team at Compassionate Endodontists New York/NYC is skilled in state-of-the-art techniques to both diagnose problems and determine when root canal retreatment is the optimal choice. In this post, you’ll learn three reasons why our team might recommend a root canal retreatment for you.

Complex canal anatomy

Root canal treatment is designed to treat decay and infection in the tooth pulp, an area that’s deep inside the central part of the tooth. The pulp contains the blood vessels that supply the tooth with oxygen and nutrients, as well as nerves that supply sensation to the tooth. 

Extending all the way to the tooth root, the pulp is contained in narrow chambers or canals. While most people have simple canal anatomy, a few have canals that are very narrow, twisted, or small. These differences in structure can mean some canals aren’t properly cleared of decayed material during the initial treatment, and that means an infection can occur in the future.

During retreatment, our team uses advanced diagnostic imaging to carefully map out your canals. Then, we use special instruments to access canals that may have been missed during your first treatment, carefully cleaning out decay, sealing the canals properly, and then applying a new filling material.

Crown placement delay

After a tooth is treated with a root canal and the central pulp portion is removed, the tooth structure may be weaker or the tooth may be less protected from future problems. That’s why these teeth are covered by a crown — both to add strength and to protect the tooth from further damage or decay.

Most crowns are placed within a week or two of the initial root canal. If crown placement is delayed, your tooth is unprotected for a longer period, giving germs a chance to invade the tooth or potentially allowing tiny cracks to form. These cracks can weaken the root canal in the future, leading to retreatment.

New decay or infection

Sometimes, a treated tooth develops a small crack or break or the crown becomes damaged or loose. Other times, the initial root canal may not have adequately sealed the canals before filling them.

Each of these cases leaves an opening for germs to access the interior of the tooth, paving the way for infection. When an infection happens inside the tooth, a root canal retreatment is warranted. If the infection is just around the root tip, we may recommend a different procedure called apicoectomy that focuses just on the root area.

Learn more about root canal retreatment

If you develop new pain, swelling, or sensitivity in a tooth formerly treated with root canal therapy, you might need to have that tooth retreated. To learn more about retreatment and how it can help preserve your tooth, call 929-344-0255 or book an appointment online at Compassionate Endodontists New York/NYC today.

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