Endodontic Re-treatment

Why do I need a root canal treatment again?

This is the most commonly asked question by people when they find out they need root canal treatment for the same tooth a second time. A valid question.

Just because a tooth has root canal treatment does not make it impartial to re-infection. So if you have been advised to have a root canal treatment again, it is most likely because your tooth ishas become infected.

How can a root canal treated tooth get infected again?

If a tooth that has had root canal treatment is diagnosed as infected, it could be due to the following reasons:

  1. It was always infected and this has only become obvious recently. There could be many reasons for this and your Endodontist will discuss these with you.
  2. The protective layer around the tooth has been breached and the tooth has become re-infected through leakage. For example, the tooth has a crown or filling in place which is leaking due to tooth decay.
  3. There is a crack in the tooth which acts as a for bacteria in the mouth to reinfect into the root canal.

Are there any alternative options to endodontic retreatment?

Depending on the cause of infection, your Endodontist can discuss alternative treatment options and offer treatments based on success rates. Typically these options would include apical surgery, partial retreatment of the root filling or tooth extraction.

Are there any alternative options to endodontic retreatment?

Similarly to the initial root canal treatment, retreatment can take up to 2-3 visits to complete.

If it didn’t work the first time, what are the chances of success the second time around?

Like anything in medicine and dentistry, the best chance for success is getting it right the first time. Any treatment that needs to be repeated has a lower chance of success. However, this assessment is very case specific. Often, Endodontists can re-treat teeth other dDentists  have condemned to extraction. So it is always best to get an opinion from an Endodontist and then make an informed decision.