When we go to the dentist to get work done on our teeth, the worst news we can hear besides having a cavity or gum disease is that we need a root canal. Root canals aren’t all that scary with modern dental technology; they are often a way to save a tooth rather than having it extracted. There is a chance that a root canal may not heal properly or that a tooth may have additional issues, though, which is when you may require a root canal retreatment, otherwise known as endodontic retreatment.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure your dentist performs to save a tooth that has been damaged or infected at the root. Contrary to popular belief, a root canal does not mean the tooth has to be removed. A root canal is an endodontic treatment that removes the damaged part of a tooth’s root and cleans the canal that the root sits in to save the tooth from having to be extracted. This is often done if the tooth has suffered root damage due to injury or gum disease and if the roots become infected.
Your dentist will clean the canal, remove any portion of the root that needs to be taken out, ensure everything is healthy, and seal the area around the root to prevent further damage or decay. Most of the time, this is enough to save the tooth, and there are no further problems. On rare occasions, the root may not heal properly, or the infection may return. In these cases, a root canal retreatment may be necessary.
How Does Root Canal Retreatment Work?
Root canal retreatment starts by reversing the work of the original root canal. Your local dentist will open up the tooth, clean out the original packaging material and sealant and then examine the entire tooth looking for signs of infection and new canals. If a tooth is not getting better, that is a clear sign that there is still infection or additional root damage that needs to be taken out.
The endodontist in Tarzana will perform the root canal again, treating the newly affected area for damage and infection. Once this is done, the dentist will again seal the tooth to prevent further damage and decay.
It’s a good idea to follow the aftercare instructions when you first get a root canal and report any lingering or abnormal side effects to your dentist as soon as possible to get retreatment and fix the problem.