Root Canal Retreatment

Root Canal Retreatment Specialist
At Steven D. Kaplan, DMD, in New York City, the care is always oriented around saving your teeth. This holds true even in cases where Dr. Kaplan must rescue your tooth from a failed root canal. Even in such cases, he boasts a root canal success rate greater than 95%. Thanks to their state of the art technology and 40+ years of experience, Dr. Kaplan and his team can very often retreat your root canal regardless of why it initially failed.

Root Canal Retreatment Q & A

Steven D. Kaplan, DMD

Why would I need a root canal retreatment?

A root canal should last you a lifetime, but sometimes, poor oral hygiene, reinjury, or an incomplete first procedure create the need for a root canal retreatment on the same tooth. You might need a root canal treatment if your prior root canal didn’t heal properly, or if infection recurs.

A root canal retreatment might be necessary in the event of:

  • A fractured tooth
  • A loose, cracked, or broken crown or filling
  • New infection or decay
  • A narrow canal that wasn’t treated the last time
  • A problem that went undetected during the last procedure
  • A problem with saliva getting into the tooth and recontaminating the root canal
  • A poorly treated root canal

In many cases, Dr. Kaplan can successfully retreat your root canal and avoid an endodontic bone surgery or extraction.

How would I know if something is wrong with my original root canal?

A failure in a previous root canal usually manifests as pain or discomfort. Many patients also report experiencing severe pain when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures. You might have swelling or bleeding around the tooth, and facial swelling is also possible. In severe cases, the tooth becomes loose as the gums start pulling away. This is why it’s so important to get regular X-rays, dental cleanings, and maintain good oral hygeine at home.

You might also have no pain, yet still have an infection. That can be detected routine exam.

Many infections and abnormalities can be detected and treated at an early stage. By using preventive measures, you’ll be less likely to need a full root canal retreatment.

What happens during the procedure?

Dr. Kaplan often successfully retreats other dentists’ failed root canals. If you do have a failed root canal, Dr. Kaplan will often use state-of-the-art 3D Imaging -- which he has on-site --- and Surgical Operating Microscope to determine what caused your root canal to fail. Many people don’t have the 3D imaging technology in their office, and have to send the patient elsewhere. That modality makes the entire treatment process cumbersome if you need more than one 3D imaging session. The fact that Dr. Kaplan has his own 3D imaging machine ultimately saves you both time and money!

Using this diagnostic technology, he can then successfully retreat your root canal and eliminate the need for endodontic bone surgery or extraction. In fact, he’s often able to successfully disassemble a painful tooth that already has a root canal, a post, and a crown, in order to retreat the root canal.

During your root canal retreatment, Dr. Kaplan numbs the area to be treated. He reopens the tooth by making a small access opening. He may also remove fillings or other materials put in place to protect the root canal. If there’s any infection in the canal, he removes it at that time. Once the area is unobstructed, Dr. Kaplan reshapes and disinfects the canals. More specifically, he uses various medications and irrigants that work long-term. He then fills the area with a temporary filling until the root heals.

The opening that’s made is later restored by your general dentist. If Dr. Kaplan had to work through a crown, he’ll make every effort to preserve the old one so a new one doesn’t have to be made. This is the final step to protect your tooth and finish up your root canal retreatment. After that, your tooth should be healthy and pain-free for years to come.  

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