In some instances, the best efforts to complete a root canal may not work. Your root canal may fail, thus requiring your dentist to repeat the procedure. This process is known as root canal re-treatment. While these procedures are not very common, they are also not terribly unusual either.

Root Canal Retreatments are much more cheaper than alternatives such as dental implants, prosthetic teeth and other alternatives.

Some reasons why a Root Canal Retreatment may be necessary
Root canal retreatment is not a complex procedure; in general the whole process can be finished within 1-3 visits. There are a number of reasons why root canal therapy may not work:

  • Cracked crown dripping filling material
  • Curved or thin canals that could not be treated in original treatment
  • Restorative devices placed too late after initial treatment
  • Unexpected new tooth decay
  • The treated tooth has a new crack or fracture
  • Saliva accidentally seeping into the restorative structure
  • Complexity in the canal structure that was not detected

If you need a root canal re-treatment, your dentist will bring you in for another office visit, during which he or she will remove all of the materials from the previous root canal and effectively start all over. The area will be cleaned all over again and shaped to prepare for the dentist’s work. Finally, the dentist will fill the canal again.

What does Root Canal Retreatment Involve?

Occasionally, root canal re-treatment may be necessary to complete the work. In such cases, the dentist will be careful to clean up parts of the root area that were not properly cleaned previously and will check for cracks in the tooth and in the crown itself.

When a treatment is initiated, how much your dentist is able to do will depend on complexity. In terms of general steps;

  • Your dentist will start by administering a local anesthetic (unless a different type of anesthetic is required or selected)
  • The tooth that is affected is secluded with a rubber dam, which will protect it from bacteria, saliva and other elements
  • The dentist will access the inside of the tooth (if a crown has been put in, this must be taken off), removing filling materials and any impediments that block the root canal. The latter is usually carried out using an ultrasonic device which vibrates materials loose
  • Small instruments are then used to clean and shape the root canals
  • X-rays are usually taken to make sure that everything is clean

At this point the dentist will have to make a decision, if going has been complicated, medicated packing material will be put in to preserve efforts and pick up in a subsequent appointment. Continuing;

  • Once the root canal is 100% clean as required by the procedure, the space is then packed using gutta-percha (a rubbery material that seals the root canals to stop any bacteria)
  • A temporary filling or crown is applied to the tooth (eventually in a later session a color matched crown will be put on)

At Empress Walk Dental, we make every effort to ensure that our treatments proceed as efficiently as possible but that the patient’s experience and results are not compromised. It is our privilege to treat our patients and bring health and healing to their mouths.

If you have questions about an upcoming root canal or a root canal that has previously occurred, or to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Toronto or North York locations, call Empress Walk Dental today at 416-250-8000!

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5095 Yonge St, Unit A1, North York, ON M2N 6Z4

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