In some cases, however, a tooth that has received endodontic treatment fails to heal or the pain continues. Occasionally, the tooth becomes painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. If your tooth has failed to heal or has developed new problems, you have a second chance. Another endodontic procedure may be able to save your tooth.
As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:
- Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.
- Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.
- The crown or other restoration was not placed soon enough after the procedure.
- The restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.
In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:
- New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth.
- A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.
- Crown, post, and core material - must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.
- After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment.
- After cleaning the canal(s), the endodontist will dress the canal(s) and place a temporary filling and wait for the healing of an infection which generally takes 1 week to a month depending on the size of infection.(same as the first root canal treatment)
- Once the infection will has cured, the endodontist will fill and seal the canal(s) and place a temporary filling in the tooth.* Post & Core insertion and preparation a tooth for a crown maybe carried out this time.
- Fitting of a permanent crown
Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime. It's always best to save the tooth if your endodontist believes retreatment is the best
Advances in technology are constantly changing the way root canal treatment is performed, so your endodontist may even be able to use a new technique that was not available when you had your first procedure. If your tooth has unusual anatomy that was not cleaned and sealed during the first procedure, your endodontist may be able to resolve this problem with a second treatment.