Root Canal Retreatment
Rather than losing the tooth entirely, root canal retreatment can be the ideal solution to save the tooth and restore proper function. Because the root canal saves the tooth, rather than removing it, it is a much better option for most people. It can also be less expensive.
When Is Root Canal Retreatment Needed?
When a root canal fails, root canal retreatment becomes necessary. Some of the causes of failure include:
- Canals that weren't treated, particularly those that are narrow or curved.
- New decay
- Saliva getting into the restored structure
- Cracked crown
- Delay in the placement of restorative devices
- A new fracture
- Undetected complex structures
What Does It Involve?
A root canal retreatment involves the administration of a local anesthetic. A rubber dam then isolates the tooth before work begins. The crown or filling will be opened to grant access to the tooth. A handpiece will be used to remove any fillers that block access to the canal space. The dentist will then use tiny tools to reshape the root canals, using an x-ray to ensure the canals are thoroughly cleaned. If the treatment takes too long, the opening can be packed with medicated fillers until the next appointment.
Once the root canals are thoroughly cleaned, gutta-percha is used to fill in the space. This seals the canals with a biocompatible rubbery substance. A temporary crown sometimes is placed until a permanent one can be constructed.