Root canal retreatment is a procedure that is performed when a tooth that has already undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal properly or develops new problems. During the retreatment, the endodontist will reopen the tooth and remove the filling materials that were placed in the root canals during the first procedure. They will then carefully examine the tooth for additional canals or a new infection. With proper care, even teeth that have undergone endodontic treatment can last a lifetime.
If your tooth hasn't healed or has new issues, you have a second chance. An additional procedure may help with healing and save the tooth. If you feel pain or discomfort in a previously treated tooth, talk to an endodontist about the possibility of re-treating it. The success rate of endodontic treatments ranges from 80 to 88%, which is only slightly lower than the success rate of initial root canal therapy. It's a very effective procedure, especially when performed by experienced endodontists.
When the dentist is sure that the root canals are completely clean, guttapercha is used to fill the space. Advances in technology are constantly changing the way root canal treatment is performed, so your endodontist can use new techniques that weren't available when your first procedure was performed. The only constant is that, whether you are performing an original endodontic treatment or a removal, the goal is to eliminate all bacteria. If you and your endodontist decide on a new treatment, the endodontist will reopen the tooth to access the root canal filling material. In short, root canal retreatment is nearly identical to the original procedure, apart from structural removal.
First, your ONE ENDO endodontist will use a CBCT scanner to take a 3D image of your tooth and diagnose the cause of root canal insufficiency. In the case of Moinca, a canal was lost during her original endodontic treatment and, a few years later, when the infection returned and her specialist reopened the tooth, she found the additional canal. If you're preparing for a new endodontic treatment appointment, it can be helpful to know how the visit will unfold. However, in some cases, a root canal can also fail after a few years due to a new cavity, a loose, broken or cracked filling or crown, or a dental fracture that damages the tooth and causes new cavities. This is another reason why making regular visits to the dentist for 6 months and monitoring endodontically treated teeth with x-rays is so vital to your oral and overall health.
In most cases, repeat root canal treatment is necessary because no complications were detected in the initial endodontics or other problems, and the infection was not completely eliminated. Nowadays, it's common for endodontic retreatment to last approximately the same amount of time as initial root canal therapy since the process is very similar.