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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.

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Testimonials

I would like to take this opportunity to let people who are looking for a great and caring dentist to go to Dr. Reed Spears. I've gone to many dentists in my life and have never met one who is gentle and caring as he's been to me. He has a great team with wonderful personalities and are caring also. In my opinion he's the best there is and I wouldn't ever want anyone else but Dr. Reed Spears and his team. I thought a lot of Sandra, Kim and everyone else on his team. I actually look forward to my visits.

Mardi Newton Creedmoor, NC

"They have state of the art equipment and a nice view of the cow pasture. Dr. Bart is great with kids and adults. He is truly a painless dentist!"

Anonymous

Hi,

I am a new patient of Bart Cleary's and his staff.

I had lots of negelected dental work that needed to be taken care of . Many of which had to be cosmetically restored. It has only been about 4 months since we have started the work on my teeth and they look and feel so much better. Bart Cleary and his staff do very good work ! They not only do good work but are painless and very pleasant to work with. I had to have a root canal on one of my front teeth,.... thinking I was going to hurt so much after wards ( You know the horror stories you hear about root canals), After the root canal I went back to work having no pain during or after the procedure.

Good people with great personalities ! They definitely have what it takes to run a great dentist office that makes you feel welcome ! Thanks for all you have done ! Looking foreward to my next visit !

Tina Tarlton Smith, a very satisfied new patient Oxford, NC

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