Reinfected Root Canal: How This Happened, And What To Do?

After undergoing a root canal, you should begin to feel much more comfortable. The pain you had been experiencing should go away, and after a few days, you should be back to 100%. However, there are times when, despite a root canal procedure, a nagging pain does return to the tooth you had operated on. It might start as a subtle annoyance, but it continues to grow and become more and more prevalent. 

Why exactly is this happening? Chances are it is a reinfected root canal. While this kind of situation is not common, it has been known to happen. How does a reinfected root canal happen, and what should you do about it? Here’s what you need to know.

Not Fully Cleaned Out The First Time

The need for a root canal is due to bacteria entering the inside of the tooth, and it’s not surprising that the need for additional root canal treatment is actually due to the same thing. If this bacteria is not addressed correctly, the bacteria will grow and multiply, producing acidic by-products of their metabolism that eat into your tooth. Without treatment, people who have this type of deep infection could lose their teeth.

However, if you got root canal therapy, your endodontist stopped the bacterial invasion inside your tooth. They clean out the infected pulp and seal the tooth’s interior. Lastly, you will have a filling or a crown placed on the tooth to keep it protected.

Occasionally, bacteria can re-enter the tooth in various ways, causing additional problems.

If this is the cause of the reinfected root canal, the dentist must go back in, find the pulp that was left behind, and clean it out.

Trapped Bacteria When Sealing The Tooth

Once all of the dead pulp is removed from your tooth and it is fully cleaned out, your dentist will fill the tooth and apply a seal over the incision point. Some dentists will apply a temporary seal, just in case the tooth does become reinfected. Other dentists, depending on the situation, might directly apply the permanent seal, which is similar to a cavity filling.

However, it is possible that some bacteria remain within the tooth after this process. This remaining bacteria can eventually proliferate and cause reinfection of the root canal and surrounding tissues.

To correct this problem, the dentist will need to reopen the tooth, clean it out a second time and ensure no bacteria is left trapped within the tooth, and then seal it back off.

Infection Works Itself Into the Tooth

It is possible the root canal was correctly performed, there was no dead pulp left behind, and the tooth was properly sealed off when applying the filling. However, if you are still experiencing some kind of lingering pain, it is possible that an infection worked its way into the tooth.

There are several ways an infection can infiltrate the interior of the tooth. Regardless of what has led to this kind of situation, once inside, it will begin to spread and cause all kinds of issues. That is why it is so important for you to have an endodontist go in and correct the problem as quickly as possible.

What Should You Do?

The causes of all of these issues vary, but the bottom line is that you will need to have the root canal retreated, preferably by an endodontist. A general practice dentist provides a variety of dental services. Because they offer many other services, they don’t have the same kind of equipment available for an enhanced root canal procedure. Since they have less everyday practice, the chances of success are higher with an endodontist.  

This is why, if after a root canal, you still suffer from pain in the tooth, you should schedule a consultation with an endodontist. An endodontist specializes in the internal health of your teeth. A root canal is one of the most common procedures performed by an endodontist. 

An endodontist’s office is designed specifically to provide an enhanced root canal procedure. Instead of returning to your general dentist for a reinfected root canal, schedule an appointment with an endodontist. 

Schedule Your Appointment With Southern Endodontic Specialists Today

Here at Southern Endodontic Specialists, we strive to provide you with the highest level of endodontic care when it comes to the internal health of your tooth. We have state-of-the-art technology designed to enhance our ability to perform a root canal, which minimizes the chances of requiring a second root canal. If you are currently in need of a second root canal, our staff is here to help. Or, if you need an initial root canal and haven’t yet had the first procedure done, we can also provide you with this service as well.

So, whether you have questions about what might have gone wrong with your original root canal or if you simply want to schedule an appointment, now is the perfect time to give our staff at Southern Endodontic Specialists a call.