Can a Root Canal Treatment be Re-done?
I had a root canal treatment which seems to not have been successful. Is it possible to do it again? Will it make a difference?
A root canal treatment can be re-tried several times. The bigger problem is each time it is re-done, there is less of a chance it will be successful. With root canal treatments, a dentist can do everything correctly and there will still be a 5 – 15% chance the procedure will fail.
Why Do Root Canal Treatments Fail?
The pulp of your tooth is the living part. Inside the crown of your tooth is a chamber for that pulp. These form the home for the nerves and blood supply to your tooth. In order to truly deal with a tooth infection, a dentist has to get in there and physically remove the infected pulp, then disinfect the area and seal it off so no more bacteria can get in. The problem dentists run into is sometimes the canals can be rather elusive.
Let’s take the molar as an example. There are typically three canals in a molar, though every once in a while you run into one that has a sneaky fourth canal. Even worse, sometimes they break off into branches. If those branches end up at a 90 degree angle, there is no way for the dentist to get to all of that canal. In that case, the root canal will fail. While this is the minority of treatments, it does happen.
What to Do If Your Root Canal Fails
You pretty much have three options after root canal failure.
- Root Canal Retreatment: This is possible, but as I mentioned earlier, the chances of success will go down with each attempt.
- Root Canal Surgery: You may have to see an endodontist for this though some dentists do it. A surgeon will cut-off the tip of the root and then place a small filling to keep it sealed. This is known as an apicoectomy.
- A Tooth Extraction: Though obviously not anyone’s first option. Sometimes a tooth just can’t be saved.
If you end up having to extract the tooth, it is important you replace it. You have several options for that, all of which your dentist can go over with you. However, the top of the line replacement is a dental implant.
This blog is brought to you by Akron Dentists of Angel Dental Care.