After a root canal procedure, some teeth may not heal as expected, or may develop a new infection, necessitating another root canal. This usually occurs when the initial treatment did not remove all of the infection; when decay again accumulates in the treated area; or when the tooth becomes cracked or loose, and is exposed to new infection.
Some patients may not experience any symptoms from a reinfection, while others may experience swelling or pain while chewing. In order to treat a tooth that did not heal properly or has again become infected after a root canal procedure, a re-treatment procedure may be performed to ensure that the tooth is thoroughly cleared of any decay and is able to function.
Candidates For Root Canal Re-Treatment-
Root canal re-treatment is performed in an attempt to save the tooth from extraction. Saving the natural tooth often yields healthier results, and many re-treated teeth can function well for years, perhaps even for the rest of the patient’s life.
For patients who choose not to undergo re-treatment, endodontic surgery, which is a much more invasive procedure, may be necessary. Endodontic surgery involves making an incision to gain access to the tip of the root.
A follow-up appointment will be needed to permanently restore, using a crown or other material, the tooth, allowing it to function fully, and protecting it against future infection or decay.
Risks Associated With Root Canal Re-Treatment-
Although root canal re-treatment is considered safe, there are certain risks and complications associated with the procedure. Some of these risks include damage to the tooth and repeated infections. Patients can minimize these risks by adhering to pre- and post-procedure instructions.
Results Of Root Canal Re-Treatment-
This procedure is successful for many patients. Permanent results may be obtained from a root canal re-treatment, with the treated tooth functioning properly throughout the patient’s lifetime.
There is always a risk that the re-treatment procedure may be unsuccessful, or that infection will reoccur. Re-treatment procedures have a lower success rate than initial root canal procedures. If a re-treatment procedure is unsuccessful, extraction or surgery may be needed.
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