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Root Canal Retreatment

In rare cases, root canal therapy fails to work as expected. The treated tooth might not heal properly or a patient might experience post-surgical complications that jeopardize the tooth. Root canal retreatment involves the removal of the previous crown and packing material, the cleansing of the root canals, and the re-packing and re-crowning of the tooth. In short, root canal retreatment is almost identical to the original procedure, aside from the structural removal. The success rate for a root canal retreatment runs at around 75%.

Root canal treatments and retreatments are a better alternative than extraction for most individuals. If a tooth has good bone support, a solid surface and healthy gums beneath it, it stands a good chance of being saved. Opting for root canal retreatment can be far less expensive than the alternatives. Dental implants, extensive bridgework and the creation of aesthetically pleasing prosthetic teeth cost far more than working with the natural tooth. They also require maintenance and feel less natural than a “real” tooth.

Why is root canal retreatment required?

Though the prospect of more endodontic surgery might not be pleasant, root canal retreatment is fairly simple. In general, the whole treatment can be completed in 1-3 visits.

There are a number of reasons why root canal therapy unexpectedly fails, including:

  • Cracked crown leaking filling material.
  • Curved or narrow canals not treated during the original procedure.
  • Delay in the placement of restorative devices following the procedure.
  • New decay to the tooth.
  • New fracture in the treated tooth.
  • Saliva entering the restorative structure.
  • Undetected complex canal structures.

What does root canal retreatment involve?

On the day of the retreatment procedure a local anesthetic will be administered, unless another type of anesthetic has been selected. The affected tooth is isolated with a rubber dam. The dam protects the tooth during treatment from bacteria and saliva. The amount the dentist can do within a single appointment will much depend on the amount of inflammation present, and the complexity of the treatment.

The first step in a root canal retreatment is to gain access to the inner tooth. If a crown and post have been placed, these will be removed.

Next, filling material and obstructions that block the root canals will be removed. This removal is conducted using an ultrasonic handpiece. The advantage of using this tool is that any unwanted material is vibrated loose. Tiny instruments will then be used to clean and reshape the root canals. X-rays may be taken to ensure that the roots are thoroughly clean. If this part of the treatment proves to be complex, medicated packing material will be applied, and the rest of the cleansing procedure will be done at the next visit.

When the dentist is confident that the root canals are completely clean, gutta-percha is used to pack the space. This rubbery material seals the canals to prevent bacterial invasion. Finally, a temporary crown or filling is applied to tooth. At a later date, the color-matched permanent crown will be placed.

If you have any questions or concerns about root canal retreatment, please ask your dentist.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

I had a crown that was done about four months ago and it started hurting real bad. It felt like I was being hit in the face with a wet sock full of nickels. I yelped Endodontist and saw Dr. Cancellier's great reviews and he was one of the few doctors open at 8am. They were able to see me the same morning I called and he accessed my tooth and set an appointment for the next morning for the root canal. I heard so many horror stories about root canals so I was scared and nervous. Dr. Cancellier explained the whole process and told me not to worry because he would make it as pain free as possible. He wasn't lying. I fell asleep a couple of times during the procedure cause I was so comfortable. He gave me some pain meds for afterwards when the mouth numbing wears off but I didn't need it at all. Painless during and after. It was an awesome experience. If you need a root canal, save yourself some tears and pain and call this guy right now.

M.C.

I went to another dentist and was told I needed a ton of dental work to fix a bad root canal, including an extraction and an implant. Well, I am the biggest chicken when it comes to any dental work, so I thought I needed a 2nd opinion. I was so lucky that a friend’s dentist Dr. Uchizono referred me to Dr. Cancellier. Dr. Cancellier had to do a lot of scary things to my tooth, but he did save it. I went in for 2 procedures. I felt no pain. (Not even the shots, which usually take me over the edge). Dr. C and his staff were so nice and caring. I got a phone call the day and a few days later checking on me. I told them I could not believe that I was ok. I laughed and said the only problem I had was that I needed to go in for a massage after the 1st procedure because I was so tense that my shoulders needed to be worked on. The 2nd procedure went as smoothly as the first one. The only difference was that I did not need a massage, because I knew that I wouldn’t feel any pain. Thank you Dr. C for taking such good care of me and for saving me a ton of money and more, for saving me from experiencing pain.

N.A.

My dentist sent me to Dr. Cancellier for a bad root canal performed by an out of state endodontist. He was very gentle and took a lot of time with me. He noted that I had a significant amount of infection in my sinus and requested that I see an ENT before treating me further.

Later, it was determined I needed another root canal on another tooth which was discovered after I had returned to Dr. Cancellier after nasal surgery because the nerve had died. I was not looking forward to it because of the poor experience I had with a root canal at the other endodontist. The experience I had with Dr. Cancellier couldn't have been different. Both Dr. and staff were gentle and the procedure was done in half the time and with virtually no discomfort. I walked out of his office an extremely happy person.

C.H.

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