Just hearing the words “root canal” can cause pain. Typically, the root canal is thought to be the absolute worst dental procedure you can ever hope to avoid. But what happens when your root canal fails? And what does that even mean?
Believe it or not, however rare, root canals can fail. When this happens, it’s time for endodontic retreatment.
What Causes a Root Canal to Fail?
A root canal can fail anywhere from months to years after the original procedure is done. Here are some of the common causes of a root canal failure:
- Too much saliva in the procedure area
- Possibly some of the infection was missed
- There was a long delay in placing the dental crown
- A crack in the crown or tooth allows a new infection to enter the tooth
When it comes down to it, the root canal fails in one of three ways: the dentist made a mistake during the procedure and failed to remove all of the infection, something prevented the tooth from healing properly, or the tooth has become infected again because something caused it to become unprotected.
What is Endodontic Retreatment?
Endodontic retreatment is your only hope to save the tooth if retreatment is an option at all. You can recognize a failed root canal by new pain or a visible crack in the tooth or crown.
The endodontic retreatment goes like this:
1. The tooth is reopened and cleaned
2. Your dentist will carefully look for roots in the tooth that are infected again or were overlooked the first time
3. The infection will be removed
4. A temporary filling is placed in your tooth
5. A new crown is fitted over your tooth to protect it