The American Association of Endodontists report the following explanation of retreatment of a root canal-treated tooth:
What is retreatment?
As it occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial endodontic treatment. The reasons could include complicated canal anatomy undetected in the first root canal procedure, the delay in placement of a crown or other restoration or an insufficient restoration. Sometimes new problems may jeopardize a tooth that was already treated such as new decay, a loose, cracked or broken filling or a tooth fracture. Often, when this happens, revision of the previous treatment may be performed to save the tooth.
During endodontic treatment, the dentist will regain access to the canal of the root. The dentist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of the tooth, searching for any hidden canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment.
After cleaning the canals, the dentist will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth. As with the original root canal, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration placed on the tooth for protection from breaking.
If retreatment is not an option, endodontic surgery should be considered to save the natural tooth.
What is endodontic surgery?
There are many surgical procedures that can be performed to save a tooth. The most common is called an apicoectomy or root-end resection, which is occasionally needed when inflammation and infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal. In this microsurgical procedure, the dentist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal. After a period of months, the bone heals around the end of the root. Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable. Most patients return to their normal activities the next day. Postsurgical discomfort is generally mild.
What are the alternatives to endodontic treatment?
Though endodontic procedures are intended to help save your tooth, this is not always possible. The only alternative to endodontic treatment is extraction of the tooth. Missing teeth can make you self-conscious, affect your ability to bite and chew, cause other healthy teeth to shift and have a negative. It can impact your overall health. For these reasons, the extracted tooth should be replaced with an artificial one.
For more information regarding retreatment of a root canal tooth, please contact Root Canal Greenville NC – Drs. Capps, Bowman, Padgett and Associates at 252-752-1111.
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