Root canals are known to have an extremely high success rate, but that doesn’t mean problems don’t occur. Sometimes the targeted infection will persist after the procedure, and your endodontist will suggest a follow-up treatment, known as endodontic retreatment. If you’ve recently been recommended for endodontic retreatment in Howard County, you might have a few questions and concerns.
To help you get the answers you need, we’ve compiled this endodontic retreatment FAQ as a quick reference guide. If you need an endodontist you can trust, contact Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman at Access Endodontics today at 410.304.7226.
The Basics of Endodontic Retreatment
Endodontics is the specialized area of dentistry that deals with the soft tissue in the inner tooth, known as dental pulp. One of the most common procedures performed in endodontics is the root canal, which aims to save a tooth with infected dental pulp. Root canals are typically highly successful, but in instances where the treatment doesn’t take, endodontic retreatment services are often recommended to preserve the tooth and prevent the need for extraction.
To perform endodontic retreatment, your endodontist will go back into the tooth that has already undergone root canal therapy. Here they will decontaminate the root canal filling, then remove all of the infection-causing bacteria. The inner tooth will be thoroughly cleaned, filled with antimicrobial packing material, and then covered with a temporary crown.
Depending on the technology used, after a few weeks, the patient returns for a second (and sometimes even a third) appointment to ensure that the root canal has been completely cleaned and the infection has cleared. Once satisfied, your endodontist will refill and reseal the tooth permanently.
How to Tell if Your Root Canal Has Failed
Below are some of the telltale signs that your root canal therapy did not take.
- Increase in tooth sensitivity
- Abscess or discharge from the affected area
- Pimple on the jaw
- Discolored tooth
If you’ve recently received a root canal and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should speak to your endodontist about endodontic retreatment services.
Why You Might Need Endodontic Retreatment Services
There are several reasons why a root canal treatment might fail, resulting in the need for endodontic retreatment. Below are some of the most common reasons.
- The crown is cracked and leaking filling
- A fracture in the treated tooth
- Complex canal structures in the tooth retained bacteria
- New tooth decay in the treated tooth
There are tooth structures that are difficult to clean for even the most experienced endodontist. Sometimes canals within the tooth are incredibly narrow or have a complex curvature making it difficult to fully remove the unwanted bacteria. This causes further infection within the tooth.
What to Expect from Your Endodontic Retreatment Recovery
What you’ll experience during endodontic retreatment, will be similar to that of a root canal.
You may experience some discomfort and swelling for a few days following your procedure, but any pain should be relieved by over-the-counter pain relievers. Aspirin or ibuprofen are preferred, as they double as anti-inflammatories. For a few days after the retreatment, you’ll want to avoid chewing on the treated side of your mouth.
Call Access Endodontics for Endodontic Retreatment
Our specialists, Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman, are extremely well known by Howard County general dentists for their endodontic services. If you need a procedure to treat your failed root canal, contact Access Endodontics by calling 410.304.7226 or by using our online form.