If you've had a root canal performed in the past, you likely assumed it would be a one-time procedure. However, that isn't always the case. While a root canal can last a lifetime, there are occasions where the treated tooth might need additional attention for one reason or another. This is known as endodontic retreatment. There are varying reasons why this might be necessary.
Understanding these issues will help you know when to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a root canal checkout. So, if you believe you have a reinfected root canal, here is what you need to know about endodontic retreatment.
What is an Endodontic Retreatment?
In short, endodontic retreatment is a secondary root canal. For one reason or another, the tooth is hurting or has developed a new infection. In order to correct the problem, the endodontist will need to re-open the tooth and retract many of the same steps performed during the original root canal.
Why is an Endodontic Retreatment Necessary?
There are several reasons why you might need a second root canal. For starters, sometimes the canal system of your tooth's roots can prove especially elaborate. This can lead to some pulp not being removed. If the pulp or other organic material is left within the root, it may begin to rot, or an infection can develop. This is what causes the tooth to hurt once again. Sometimes it isn't possible to fully understand just how complex the root canal system is until the dentist has gained access to the roots during the initial root canal.
If your tooth begins to hurt for several weeks, or even a few months, following the initial root canal, it's usually due to pulp left behind in the tooth. However, what happens if your tooth begins to hurt years down the road? If a root canal tooth begins to hurt in this instance, it is possible that the filling or crown placed over the original opening has broken free, or an opening has developed, and bacteria has found its way inside. If left untreated, this can lead to rotting within the tooth which will further damage the tooth. It is also possible that the filling or crown did not completely protect against saliva from leaking back into the access opening on the tooth.
Other times, a cavity may have developed somewhere on the tooth, and the decay might have reached into the path of the root canal, which allows bacteria and saliva easy access to the interior of the tooth. These are all grounds for endodontic retreatment.
Regardless of the reason or when the pain begins to develop, it is important to have the tooth revisited sooner rather than later.
Your Retreatment May Be Different
If you have to go back in because the tooth has started to hurt not long after the initial root canal, you may want to look not to your general dentist but to an endodontic specialist. This is because endodontics specializes in root canals and endodontic retreatment procedures. Due to specializing in the procedure, they are more likely to have state-of-the-art equipment to address a secondary root canal. Our staff, for example, uses a device called GentleWave, which is the latest in root canal technology. It uses a special ultrasonic feature to break the pulp-free and then send a liquid through the tooth to wash away the pulp and other bacteria.
Schedule a Consultation For An Endodontic Retreatment in Houma La
Did you undergo a root canal with your general dentist, but the pain has returned to the tooth? Are you suffering from pain and believe you have a reinfected root canal that needs attention? If so, schedule a consultation with our team at Southern Endodontic Specialists. We will discuss your options, and then during your consultation, it will be possible to determine exactly what the problem is and what needs to be done. Don't let your painful tooth fester, come see us today!