At times, a tooth which has undergone root canal therapy does not heal properly.
This can occur due to difficult-to-detect inner anatomy of the tooth; delay in returning to your regular dentist for placement of the final restoration (crown, onlay or filling) following endodontic treatment; or because a restoration failed to keep salivary contamination from reaching the inside of the tooth, allowing decay to form.
Further problems can also compromise a tooth that has received successful root canal treatment. Future decay can expose the root canal filling to saliva and bacteria and create a new infection within the tooth. A loose or cracked filling or a fracture to the tooth itself can have the same result.
When retreatment for your tooth is necessary, we will discuss all of your treatment options. If you choose to have retreatment, the tooth will be reopened to access the root canal filling(s). Removing the crown, post, and core material may be necessary in order to gain access to the root canals.
After the canal filling is removed, the canals will be cleaned and, using a surgical operating microscope, an examination will be performed to locate the source of infection, checking for internal cracks with a disclosing dye and for any unusual root anatomy. The canals will then be sealed with a biocompatible material and temporary cement will be used to close the opening in the tooth.
Sometimes blocked (or calcified) canals require surgery. This procedure is known as an apicoectomy and is discussed under Endodontic Surgery in our listing of services. If an apicoectomy is necessary, we will discuss it with you fully.
Following your retreatment procedure, it is of primary importance to return to your general dentist as soon as possible for placement of your new crown or other restoration to protect your retreated tooth from infection.