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Why Did Your Dentist Recommend a Repeat Root Canal?

Posted on 6/17/2016 by Anthony M. DiCesare
A elderly woman receiving a root canal.An root canal is a procedure designed to save your tooth, allowing you to keep it for a lifetime and avoid an extraction.

Periodically, root canal therapy doesn't correct the problem, and it may lead your dentist to recommend a repeat root canal. This is suggested if your tooth developed new problems or if it didn't heal properly after the first treatment.

Why the First Root Canal Treatment Didn't Work

Root canals are highly effective treatment options, but occasionally, the tooth might not heal as expected. There are several reasons that this might occur:

•  Complicated anatomy within the canal that went undetected during the first procedure
•  Curved or narrow canals that weren't treated during the first procedure
•  Placement of a crown or restoration that was delayed after the first procedure
•  Restorations that failed to prevent salivary contamination inside the tooth

New Problems That Require Retreatment

The former situations involve failure of the tooth to heal properly, but in other cases, a new problem could result in the need for a future root canal:

•  A new fracture to a tooth
•  A broken, loose, or cracked filling or crown that results in a new infection of the tooth
•  New tooth decay that exposes the filling material in the root canal to bacteria

What Happens During a Repeat Root Canal?

During a repeat root canal, the tooth will be reopened, and the filling materials will be removed. Your dentist will then look for additional canals and signs of infection that may be new or missed during the initial procedure. Then, the canals are cleaned and shaped before new filling materials are inserted.

If you had a root canal in the past and are noticing dental pain and discomfort, contact our office. The same is true if you never really experienced any improvement in your symptoms after your initial treatment.
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