Although root canal treatments enjoy a success rate of approximately 95-percent, a small percentage of our work involves retreating a root canal.
With new technology and improved methods of detecting problems in the root of the tooth, this procedure has become almost routine, however, there are certain situations in which a root canal can fail. The good news is that in most cases, we can save your tooth.
When Do I Need to Retreat a Root Canal?
There are several reasons why a root canal doesn't heal properly and needs to be retreated, even years later:
Untreated calcified or blocked canal,
The infection doesn't heal properly,
Difficult canal anatomy,
Narrow canals not treated during the initial procedure,
The crown treatment was delayed,
New decay on a successfully treated tooth,
A cracked or broken crown or filling,
A fractured tooth.
Is Retreating a Failed Root Canal Dangerous?
With new technological advances, a failed root canal has a rate of success between 50 and 75-percent, depending on the situation. Retreatment means drilling another small hole in the tooth, removing the old filling material, and refilling it. If the original root canal was done many years ago, it could have failed because it was done improperly, and you will get a better seal this time.
If surgery is the answer to retreat a tooth with a failed root canal, it will involve reaching the root of the tooth through an incision made in the gums and bone. In some cases, the root is cut off and the area is cleaned before resealing it.
There is always a risk with any type of surgery. If retreatment for the tooth with the failed root canal is not possible, the only other solution may be an extraction of the tooth, although we always try to leave this possibility a last resort.
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