Root Canal Retreatment
Although root canal treatment tends to have a bad reputation for being scary or painful, it is one that is unearned. Most root canal procedures painlessly eliminate infection and preserve the natural tooth. In the rare cases where root canal treatment fails, there may still be hope to save the tooth with root canal retreatment.
Dr. Daniel Whiteman performs root canal retreatment at his dental practice that serves Brookline, MA, Boston, MA, and surrounding areas. Here we provide an overview of what to expect from root canal retreatment, when it may be necessary, and why it is a better alternative to tooth extraction.
Why Do I Need Root Canal Retreatment?
Root canal procedures are an effective treatment for infection within the pulp and roots of the tooth, so root canal retreatment is not a widely needed procedure. Unfortunately, there are rare cases when an initial root canal infection fails or further complications develop that threaten the health and structure of the tooth. Some potential reasons for root canal retreatment include:
- The treated tooth did not heal properly
- The placed dental crown has cracked or become damaged
- There was a delay in the placement of a dental crown following root canal treatment
- Narrow or curved root canals were not properly cleaned during the initial treatment
- New decay or dental damage has developed
What Happens During a Secondary Root Canal Procedure?
Root canal retreatment is nearly identical to an initial root canal procedure. The one key difference is the preparation of the tooth. To prepare the tooth for root canal retreatment Dr. Whiteman must remove the dental crown and all dental packing that was placed during the patient’s original root canal. Once those have been removed, treatment proceeds as a typical root canal therapy.
The goal of root canal retreatment is to ensure that all signs of infection have been treated and that the tooth is protected against further infection or damage. Dr. Whiteman achieves this goal by thoroughly cleaning the pulp of the tooth and along the canals of the tooth’s root system. When Dr. Whiteman is confident that the tooth has been properly cleaned, the tooth is filled with a rubber-like compound.
The final step of root canal retreatment is the placement of a new dental crown. The dental crown encapsulates the natural tooth to further strengthen it and provide an added layer of protection against bacteria.
Is Root Canal Retreatment Better than Tooth Extraction?
As long as our Brookline patients have healthy bone and gum tissues to support the tooth, we recommend root canal retreatment over tooth extraction. Root canal retreatment preserves the remaining natural tooth structure and the tooth’s root system. This promotes good oral health, supports strong oral functions, and encourages continual regeneration of jaw bone tissues.
If you have had root canal treatment and are experiencing signs of further infection, such as oral pain or inflammation, you may require root canal retreatment. To learn more about root canal retreatment as offered by Dr. Daniel Whiteman, send us a message online or call (617) 731-4746.