Will I Ever Need Endodontic Retreatment?

Here’s Why Some Root Canal Treatments Fail

While a root canal treatment performed by a trained professional is often a great success, sometimes the procedure unfortunately doesn’t go as planned. Problems can occur, especially if the practitioner performing the treatment is lacking in experience. Accidents or injury may also pose a risk to the treated tooth. It’s important to find a dental professional who is very knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to providing you with the endodontic care you need (Dr. Lance Isaac is a great example of this)!

retreating a root canal

So, what can go wrong with a root canal treatment?

Though quite rare, problems with the treated tooth could arise months or even years after the procedure. In some cases, a tooth does not heal as it should after treatment. The endodontist or dentist performing the procedure must ensure that all of patient’s canals are thoroughly and properly cleaned out and disinfected. The area surrounding the tooth should also be kept dry and free of saliva during treatment, or else contamination could occur. The crown should be placed on the tooth directly following the treatment to protect the tooth from damage/ infection. If the treated tooth experiences a fracture or the crown eventually breaks or becomes loose, new infection could enter the tooth, ultimately requiring retreatment (if the patient is a candidate).

What happens during endodontic retreatment?

During a retreatment procedure, the tooth is opened once again, and the canals are sufficiently cleaned out. The dentist or endodontist will examine the canals for new infection and will search for any canals that may have been overlooked in the original procedure. Next, the canals are cleared of any infection, shaped, and are filled with special materials. A new crown will typically cap off the tooth after the procedure once the tooth is healed. Sometimes, a patient has canals that are very narrow, curved or hard to access. Endodontic surgery may be required in order to resolve this.

If you suspect your once treated tooth has become re-infected or has failed to heal properly, don't hesitate to contact your dentist or endodontist right away to resolve the problem. Or, call Dr. Lance Isaac – a trusted Scarborough endodontist and leader of The Endodontic Group.

While we don't wish you any failed root canals, we'll be here to help if the problem ever occurs!