Unfortunately, root canals are not always entirely effective in removing all of the bacterial contents from the tooth chamber. Even if only a little bit of bacteria persists in the root of the tooth, it can sometimes lead to recurrent infection and pain. Sometimes, this occurs months or years after treatment. A root canal specialist (endodontist) is skilled in re-treating the canal chamber by removing the previous root canal filling and cleaning the chamber before filling it again for an improved result.
In some cases, new problems can affect a tooth that was successfully treated, and a recurrent infection exists. Improper healing may be due to any, or a combination of any, of the following:
New decay can expose a root canal filling, causing infection.
Some portion of tissue within the root canal system of the tooth was not accessed and treated during the initial treatment. Occasionally, roots have branched canals that are difficult to access.
The crown or filling covering the root canal is not adequately sealing off the tooth and the root canal has become reinfected.
The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
A crack has occurred somewhere in the tooth and saliva is leaking in contaminating the root canal.
For a retreatment, the doctor will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The doctor will now clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the doctors will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.
At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.
If you feel that you are in need of retreatment, please call to schedule an appointment at Martin Endodontics in Beverly Hills. We treat patients from all of the Los Angeles area and are close to Santa Monica, West Hollywood, West LA, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Culver City.
For more information on endodontic retreatment, please visit AAE.org.