Root canal therapy is intended to save a badly decayed or damaged tooth, and in most cases, a well-cared-for tooth can last a lifetime. But there are times when a root canal can fail, resulting in continued pain and other symptoms. That’s when retreatment can help.
A leading provider of state-of-the-art root canal retreatment for patients in Statesville and Hickory, North Carolina, Robert Scott Nance, D.D.S., M.S., P.A., offers custom endodontic treatment focused on each patient’s unique needs and individual tooth anatomy. In this post learn why root canals sometimes fail and how retreatment with Dr. Nance can help.
Causes of root canal failure
Root canal therapy is a time-tested, effective way to save a tooth with very deep decay or a tooth that’s been damaged by trauma. During a root canal procedure, Dr. Nance uses special techniques to access the inner part of the tooth, removing decayed or damaged tissue before cleaning the area and refilling the tooth with a special material.
After a root canal, the treated tooth is covered with a protective crown. The crown stabilizes the tooth and helps prevent future infection. Because treated teeth often slightly darken once the inner material is removed, a crown also helps maintain your beautiful smile.
As with any type of medical procedure, a root canal can occasionally fail, leading to ongoing pain and other symptoms. Although uncommon, root canal failure can be caused by several factors, including:
- Unusual tooth anatomy
- Narrow canals that prevented thorough initial treatment
- Delayed crown placement following the initial root canal
- Deep, untreated infection at the root base
- Crown damage, like a crack or fracture
Retreatment addresses all of these issues, restoring the tooth and maintaining your normal bite balance so future problems can be avoided.
Fixing a failed root canal
The first step in root canal retreatment is having your tooth carefully evaluated, including X-rays. Once we determine the cause of the failure, we can map out the most appropriate treatment.
In many cases, retreating a root canal means exactly that: repeating the root canal procedure to address narrow or curved canals where bacteria may not have been entirely eradicated. In this retreatment procedure, Dr. Nance removes the filling material and thoroughly cleans the canals, sealing them and filling them completely.
Sometimes, a root canal failure happens because the very tip or apex of the root becomes infected. In this case, Dr. Nance performs an apicoectomy to access the tooth root, remove infected material, and seal the end of the root.
Custom treatment for a lifetime of healthy smiles
Once your tooth is retreated, it’s imperative to care for your tooth (and all your teeth) with regular brushing and flossing and routine dental cleanings. Regular cleanings and checkups ensure any developing problems are caught early, before they cause infection or other tooth or gum damage.
If you have persistent pain following a root canal, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Dr. Nance and his team today.