Root Canal Retreatment
You had a large cavity on one of your teeth. You had pain and discomfort, so you went to your local dentist. He or she recommended a root canal on your tooth. You spent quite a bit of money, and the procedure was completed. Now a few years later the tooth has flared up again, and you have no idea why.
How could that be? I though the nerve from the tooth was removed? You go back to your dentist, and he says the tooth is reinfected. What are your options?
The bad news is something has to be done. You ask yourself, am I going to lose my tooth?
Not necessarily. An additional procedure may end up saving the tooth entirely. The procedure is called root canal retreatment, and it is performed by dentists all the time. Below are some commonly asked questions that are seen with this procedure.
What is root canal retreatment?
Root canal retreatment is when your dentist goes back into the previously root canal treated tooth and essentially redo’s your initial root canal treatment.
Are root canal retreatments painful?
Not at all. The tooth is numbed with local anesthesia before the procedure is performed. Very similar to your initial root canal treatment.
What if the root canal retreatment fails?
This can certainly happen. If the root canal retreatment does not end up working or fails, a few options are available. If your dentist deems it worthy, he or she may attempt a procedure called an apicoectomy.
This procedure is a minor surgery whereby your gum tissue is reflected in order to access the root of your tooth that is infected. The infected portion of the root is removed, and a retro-filling material is used to seal the end of the root.
If the dentist, or yourself does not want to end up going through an apicoectomy, then tooth removal will be a necessity at that time.
Are there any alternatives to root canal retreatments?
The only other options as mentioned above are to perform an apicoectomy surgery, or to remove the tooth entirely.
Does Root canal retreatment actually work?
Yes it does, but not all the time. Statistics on studies vary, but research shows a success rate of 50-80% success rate on infection removal, and full function of the tooth after retreatment is completed.
How much does root canal retreatment cost?
Cost can vary based on your dentist, but the prices range can be anywhere from $600-$1,800. Most dental insurance carriers cover the procedure at a certain percentage.
How long does a root canal retreatment usually take?
Retreatments usually take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour depending on your dentist.
How is a root canal retreatment performed?
The dentist (Dr. Jasmine) will reopen your tooth that had the initial root canal and gain access to the root canal filling materials that were originally placed. In many cases, restorative materials such as the crown and buildup materials must be removed to allow your dentist access into the tooth.
The canal is accessed, and with the use of chemicals and instruments, the canal filling materials are slowly removed and dissolved. The dentist will look for any areas of unusual anatomy or additional canals that may have been missed during your initial root canal treatment.
After all the canals are cleansed and cleaned copiously, the canals are refilled, and a temporary filling is placed. After proper healing has taken place, your dentist will rebuild your tooth with a build material and a new crown.