Occasionally, a tooth may not heal correctly following root canal treatment resulting in pain, discomfort, or diseased many months or years later. This may be for a variety of reasons such as:
- Root canals that are narrow or with curved canal systems that were not treated during the original procedure
- Complex root canal anatomy that was undetected during the initial procedure
- During the first procedure, the canal system may have been contaminated from the crown not being placed quickly enough
- Saliva may have been introduced into the tooth from improper restoration causing contamination
- A new infection brought on by new tooth decay that can expose the root canal filling to bacteria
- Crowns or filling material can become loose, cracked, or broken exposing the tooth to new infection
As a result, retreatment of the root canal may be required with an endodontic appointment. During this procedure, the filling material must be removed from the canal, and the endodontist will explore for new or untreated root canals. Retreatment procedures usually require an operating microscope, ultrasound, and digital imaging. Once completed, the root system are sealed with new canal filling material. Repeat root canal treatments are often completed with endodontic surgery. All available options and appropriate treatments will be discussed with you and your endodontist will provide the best recommendations based on your specific treatment needs.