Despite a high level of success, a tooth that has received endodontic treatment may develop a recurring infection after initial treatment. This situation would be evident if you have continual discomfort or swelling months or years after endodontic treatment.
Improper healing may be caused by:
- Curved or narrow canals were not treated during the initial treatment.
- Complicated canals went undetected during the initial treatment.
- The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
- The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.
In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:
- New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
- A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.
Retreatment may be a solution to your problem. Often, a CT Scan image is taken of the root canal tooth to determine the cause of the discomfort or infection. Once diagnosed, the doctors 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 doctors will then 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.
A follow-up appointment may be needed to ensure the success of the retreatment. This usually occurs anywhere from three to six months following the retreatment appointment.