With proper care, even teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime. But sometimes, a tooth that has been treated doesn't heal properly and can become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. If your tooth failed to heal or develops new problems, you have a second chance. An additional procedure may be able to support healing and save your tooth. If you have pain or discomfort in a previously treated tooth, talk to EndoSure about retreatment.
Why do I need another endodontic procedure?
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 were not treated during the initial procedure.
• Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.
• The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.
• The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.
In other cases, a new problem can jeopardise a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:
• New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth.
• A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.
• A tooth sustains a fracture.
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What will happen during retreatment?
First, we will discuss your treatment options. If you and EndoSure choose retreatment, we will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. In many cases, complex restorative materials—crown, post and core material—must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.
After cleaning the canals, the endodontist will place an antibacterial medication and close the tooth with a permanent-type bonded restorative material for a period of time (from 1week to 3 months) or until symptoms have resolved and healing is evident. The tooth will then be re-filled.
In some cases treatment can be completed in one visit as long as there is sufficient time for the root canal/s to be thoroughly disinfected.
In some cases, if the canals cannot be fully negotiated due to calcification or blockages, your endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery.
After your endodontist completes retreatment, you will be scheduled for several reviews over the nest year to monitor healing and function. If further restorative procedures are required you will be referred back to your dentist. If your tooth already has a crown which is structurally intact, the access cavity may be filled with bonded material and the crown retained. In some cases, due to deterioration of the crown, a new crown will be required.
After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth using magnification and illumination, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment.
Is retreatment the best choice for me?
Whenever possible, it is best to save your natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime.
As with any dental or medical procedure, there are no guarantees. We will discuss your options and the chances of success before beginning retreatment.
How much will the procedure cost?
The cost varies depending on how complicated the procedure will be. The procedure will probably be more complex than your first root canal treatment, because your restoration and filling material may need to be removed to accomplish the new
procedure. In addition, we may need to spend extra time searching for unusual canal anatomy. Therefore, you can generally expect retreatment to cost more than the initial endodontic treatment.
While dental insurance may cover part or all of the cost for retreatment, some policies limit coverage to a single procedure on a tooth in a given period of time. Check with your employer or insurance company prior to retreatment to be sure of your coverage.
What are the alternatives
If nonsurgical retreatment is not an option, then endodontic surgery should be considered. This surgery involves making an incision to allow access to the tip of the root. Endodontic surgery may also be recommended in conjunction with retreatment or as an alternative. EndoSure will discuss your options and recommend appropriate treatment.
What are the alternatives to endodontic retreatment and/or endodontic surgery?
The only other alternative is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Because these options require extensive surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, they can be far more costly and time consuming than retreatment and restoration of the natural tooth.
No matter how effective tooth replacements are—nothing is as good as your own natural tooth. You’ve already made an investment in saving your tooth. The payoff for choosing retreatment could be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for many years to come.
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