Did you know that over 15 million root canals are done annually, according to the American Association of Endodontists? Breaking that down means that every single day more than 41,000 root canals are done in just one day alone, by either dentists or endodontists. And while a dentist will average around two root canals each week, an endodontist will average around 25 a week. This means that endodontists offer you a lot more experience when dealing with root canals!
As endodontists, we work on healing the soft tissues inside your teeth, more commonly referred to as the tooth pulp. We are specifically trained to save infected teeth using leading-edge technology and techniques. We use advanced digital imaging, operating microscopes and ultrasonics to accurately diagnose and treat your oral and facial pain stemming from issues deep within a tooth. We are fully equipped to address the pain in an infected tooth pulp and tooth root while keeping you as comfortable as possible.
Our ultimate goal is to preserve a tooth that is infected by treating the inner chambers of the tooth to stop the pain and help you keep your tooth. Simply cleaning out the infected areas and filling them with just one root canal treatment can often keep your tooth safe for a lifetime.
Root Canal Retreatment
But sometimes a root canal fails to heal an infected tooth. Perhaps you had a root canal done but months (or years) later the tooth hurts again and is once again infected. This can sometimes happen when the first root canal treatment runs into one of these scenarios:
- The tooth’s canals were thin or curved, preventing optimal treatment.
- Some of the infected canals weren’t found and treated.
- There was a time-lapse when placing the crown or other dental restoration.
- During the dental restoration contaminated saliva made its way to the tooth.
- A new problem arose after the tooth was successfully treated for new decay in the root canal filling material, leaving the tooth with a new infection.
- The crown or filling cracks, breaks or fractures, allowing infected bacteria to enter.
Fortunately, should any of these situations arise, another root canal treatment can often be done to save the affected tooth. Once the tooth’s condition is diagnosed, our endodontist will be able to work on the infection by reopening the tooth.
- If you had the tooth treated with a dental crown, post or filling material it will need to be removed first.
- Next, we can clear out the filling, thoroughly clean the canals and make sure there aren’t any other canals in the tooth requiring care.
- Once the canals are treated, we can fill and seal them and top the tooth with a temporary filling. -Should any of the tooth’s canals be blocked or be too thin, we might need to make an incision to seal the other end of the tooth root.
Saving Natural Teeth
When it comes to your natural teeth, you are better off saving them than replacing them unless necessary. A retreated tooth can work perfectly for many years to come, even a lifetime’s worth! Thanks to constantly evolving dental technology, root canals are easier, more comfortable and successfully treated than ever before. Getting a tooth retreated may look different than your original root canal was, thanks to ever advancing technology and techniques.
The only other option for a severely decaying tooth is extraction. Once a natural tooth is removed, it will need to be replaced with a dental implant, dental bridge, or removable partial denture so you can continue chewing normally. This will mean additional surgery and dental treatments that are expensive and time-consuming. If you would like more information about root canal treatment and retreatment, we welcome you to give us a call!