What is a Root Canal Retreatment?

If your tooth failed to heal or develops new problems, you may have a second chance if the reinfection is not due to a root fracture. Dr. Hanah Pham can assess the existing condition of the tooth and will help guide her patient to the option that is long lasting and have more value. Sometimes, you can save a severely broken down tooth that had a history of root canals with a retreatment. The question is: is it worth it to spend money on multiple complex procedures to save the tooth and it may not last long, or wouldn’t you want to chose a better option that can last a lifetime? Normally a retreatment is due to a secondary complication, like a root fracture due to excessive grinding/clenching, or a patient putting off on getting a crown on a root canal tooth which caused a brittle tooth to fracture and decay. A retreatment maybe be recommended if Dr. Hanah Pham feels it is worth it to spend the money and effort for the tooth, but it may not be worth it considering the costs vs the long-term benefits involved.

Why do I need retreatment? 

As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

  • Narrow or curved canals that were not able to be accessed during the initial procedure.
  • Complicated canal anatomy becomes inaccessible in the first procedure.
  • The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed for too long following the endodontic treatment, causing bacterial contamination or tooth fracture.
  • The temporary filling after the initial treatment of root canal therapy was left there too long and did not get restored in a timely manner, causing bacterial contamination to the root canal system.
  • Root/tooth fracture due to excessive bruxism.
  • In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated.

With proper care, most teeth that have had endodontic (root canal) treatment can last as long as other natural teeth. Ideal root canals performed by Dr. Hanah Pham have over a 95% success rate. Occasionally, the tooth that has received endontic treatment fails to heal and becomes painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. The options of a symptomatic root canal tooth are a retreatment, an apical surgery, or an extraction depending on the severity of the damage on the tooth. Apical surgery is not a good option in Dr. Hanah Pham's opinion since the success rate of a conventional apical surgery is less than 60%. Unless other unusual circumstances like the tooth served as one of the anchor teeth for a long bridge that make you settle to have an apical surgery on that one tooth. If the success rate of an implant is over 95%, wouldn't you want to have that option? 

Dr. Hanah Pham is very good at listening to your needs and helping you plan for the best option that you are comfortable with. Please contact us using the form below or call (703) 860-4148 to ask any questions about your unique situation.

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