With the appropriate care, teeth that have undergone endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. In some cases, however, pain may re-occur weeks to years after this initial treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed.
Improper healing and recurrence of tooth pain may be caused by:
- Curved or narrow canals were not treated during the initial treatment.
- Complicated canals went undetected during the initial treatment.
- The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
- The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.
In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:
- New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
- A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.
Endodontic Re-treatment Procedure
The doctors will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The doctors will now clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the doctors will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.
At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.
Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?
Often, non-surgical root canal therapy is sufficient to heal and save an infected tooth.
In some cases, however, infected tissue resides below the tooth root in the supporting bone tissue and cannot be access through root canal procedures.
In these cases, a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy, or "root end resection" may be needed to save the tooth. Endodontic surgery can also be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that may cause pain, but are not visible on x-rays.
The above diagram illustrates this simple procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months, restoring full function.
Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. Your dentist will recommend certain pain medications to alleviate any post-surgical pain. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office.