San Saba Dental
Root Canal Retreatment
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Retreatment of Root Canals
In rare instances, root canal therapy may not yield the expected results. The treated tooth might fail to heal properly, or the patient could experience post-surgical complications, jeopardizing the tooth’s integrity. Root canal retreatment involves the removal of the previous crown and packing material, thorough cleansing of the root canals, and repacking and recrowning the tooth. Essentially, root canal retreatment mirrors the original procedure, excluding structural removal. The success rate for root canal retreatment stands at approximately 75%.
For most individuals, both initial root canal treatments and retreatments are preferable to tooth extraction. If a tooth possesses good bone support, a solid surface, and healthy gums underneath, it has a high chance of being preserved. Opting for root canal retreatment often proves to be more cost-effective than alternatives such as dental implants, extensive bridgework, or prosthetic teeth. These alternatives come at a higher cost, demand ongoing maintenance, and feel less natural compared to a natural tooth.
Why is root canal retreatment necessary?
Although the prospect of undergoing additional endodontic surgery might seem daunting, root canal retreatment is a relatively straightforward procedure. In general, the entire treatment can be completed in 1-3 visits.
Several reasons could lead to the unexpected failure of root canal therapy, including:
It’s important to note that fluoride, while highly beneficial, is not a standalone solution for preventing tooth decay. Regular brushing, flossing, balanced diets, reduced sugary snacks, and routine dental visits are equally vital components of maintaining optimal oral health.
On the day of the retreatment procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered unless an alternative type of anesthetic has been selected. The affected tooth is isolated with a rubber dam, providing protection from bacteria and saliva during the treatment. The extent of the procedure conducted within a single appointment depends on the level of inflammation present and the complexity of the treatment.
Root canal retreatment follows these steps:
- Access to the inner tooth: If a crown and post have been placed previously, they will be removed.
- Removal of filling material and obstructions: An ultrasonic handpiece is used to remove unwanted material by vibration. Tiny instruments clean and reshape the root canals. X-rays might be taken to ensure thorough cleaning. If complexities arise, medicated packing material is applied, and the rest of the cleansing procedure is completed in the next visit.
- Gutta-percha packing: The cleaned canals are sealed with gutta-percha, a rubbery material preventing bacterial invasion.
- Temporary crown or filling: A temporary crown or filling is placed on the tooth. Later, a color-matched permanent crown will be applied.
If you have any questions or concerns about root canal retreatment, do not hesitate to discuss them with your dentist.