With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic (root canal) treatment can last as long as other natural teeth. Occasionally, the infection around the tooth that undergone endodontic treatment may not heal or pain may continue despite therapy. In some rare cases, the tooth may respond well to treatment only to have the disease return months or years after treatment.
In many of these cases Endodontic Retreatment may be helpful to repair your tooth. At our office, we have the opportunity to view a 3-Dimentional CT Scan image of your tooth to give you the most accurate assessment, prognosis and treatment options possible.
If Endodontic Retreatment has been selected for your tooth; our doctors will re-open your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. They will then carefully examine and clean the inside of the root canals. To provide the best results possible they will often leave a disinfecting medication in your tooth. Once this medication has done its job, and only after we see signs of improvement, one of our doctors will place a new root canal filling to re-seal your tooth. Our goal is providing the most predictable treatment possible. If we decide that endodontic treatment is not the best option for you we will always let you know. Your health is our priority.
New dental trauma, a new cavity, a broken filling or a crack in the tooth can allow contaminated saliva to leak into the tooth and cause a new infection inside your tooth. In addition, if you did not have a final restoration (usually a crown) placed soon after your previous root canal treatment the tooth may also be more prone to reinfection. This infection can contaminate the prior root canal filling inside your tooth. In some cases, if an infected tooth is not healing we may discover an additional canal or a very narrow or curved canals that could not be treated during your initial procedure. These complex conditions may require the skills and technology of an endodontist.
We recommend that you take a combination of an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) along with acetaminophen (Tylenol) following your procedure. If you cannot take ibuprofen, than acetaminophen (Tylenol) alone would be the next best thing. In certain instances, we will prescribe you an antibiotic, and/or possibly an additional medication for pain. All instructions regarding medication will be thoroughly reviewed with you before you leave, and you will also be given written instructions.
No two teeth are the same. Before we even start treatment we will review the treatment plan for your tooth along with follow up care instructions. In most cases we recommend that you call your restorative dentist as soon as possible to make your follow-up appointment. It is recommended that you have your permanent restoration placed 2-3 weeks after your root canal treatment. This gives your tooth time to heal, but not longer than one month after the procedure. This step is imperative for the long-term prognosis of your tooth. Without a final restoration to protect the tooth it is at risk for fracture or re-infection.