Root canals are generally very successful procedures and can allow you to live without pain in that tooth for the rest of your life. However, there are cases when root canals fail and you may need endodontic retreatment. People can end up needing endodontic retreatment months or years after their initial root canal. There are many different reasons why root canals can fail and your teeth can experience repeated issues. Fortunately, endodontic retreatment gives your tooth another chance so you don’t need to worry about extraction and implants just yet.
Here is what you need to know about endodontic retreatment, when you would need it, and the reasons why this procedure can be necessary.
What Is Endodontic Retreatment?
Although root canals are incredibly successful procedures, it is possible for them to heal improperly or to develop further issues again, the same as with any other dental or medical procedure. Fortunately, teeth can be re-treated.
Endodontic retreatment is the procedure used to try to save a tooth that develops further issues after having undergone a root canal.
Why Would You Need Another Endodontic Procedure?
Endodontists always do everything in their power to try to save your natural tooth. If your tooth does not heal properly or develops further issues after a root canal, retreatment is an option that can save your natural tooth.
There are many potential reasons for why someone would end up needing endodontic retreatment. While sometimes root canals can fail because of a mistake on the part of your endodontist, in other cases, new problems can develop even if your tooth was successfully treated.
Some of the reasons why you may need retreatment include:
- Curved or narrow canals weren’t treated in the initial root canal.
- The crown placement was delayed after the treatment.
- There may have been canals that were undetected.
- The restoration didn’t prevent salivary contamination inside your tooth.
- Your tooth was fractured.
- New decay developed that caused a new infection in your tooth.
- Your crown became loose, cracked, or broke and exposed your tooth to new infection.
Are There Alternatives To Retreatment?
When you got your root canal, your endodontist likely explained your options to you. If you need endodontic retreatment, it’s much the same. You have a few options: endodontic retreatment, endodontic surgery, or extraction. Your endodontist will always do everything in their power to save your natural tooth. Implants and the like have come a long way with the advancements of modern medicine, but nothing can compare to your natural tooth.
Endodontic retreatment is generally successful in saving your teeth. However, if it is not possible, then your endodontist may suggest an apicoectomy or, in the worst case scenario, extraction.
Apicoectomy (endodontic surgery) is a last ditch effort to try to save your natural tooth. Usually, endodontists will do apicoectomies after you’ve undergone a root canal and then endodontic retreatment. This is because endodontic surgeries are quite complex with extensive recovery times.
Extraction is generally only recommended if nothing else can be done to save your natural tooth. If you have had a root canal, undergone endodontic retreatment, and had an apicoectomy, and you are still having problems, there may be nothing else that can be done to save your natural tooth. You can then use implants or another replacement.
Will Endodontic Retreatment Last?
As with any other dental or medical procedure, there are no guarantees with anything. In general, endodontic retreatment is very successful and can last you the rest of your life. However, there is always the possibility that complications occur or further problems develop, which could result in you needing another endodontic procedure.
How To Preserve Your Natural Teeth
Prevention is everything when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Many people don’t realize just how much taking care of their oral hygiene can do for their oral health. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and going to your regular dental cleanings are all essential steps to taking care of your natural teeth and preventing dental issues.
Sometimes dental problems can develop even if you take stellar care of your teeth. Dentists and endodontists both can get cavities and need root canals or endodontic retreatment or surgery too, after all. If a problem develops, it’s crucial that you have it treated sooner rather than later in order to prevent it from escalating and potentially spreading to your other teeth.
David G. Johnson, D.D.S., provides endodontic retreatment as well as other endodontic services designed to help you preserve your natural teeth. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.