Endodontic Retreatment

Orange Coast Endodontics

Payal Dholakiya, DDS

Endodontist located in Irvine, CA

Most teeth that have had root canal treatment last decades, even a lifetime. But sometimes, teeth that have been treated don’t fully heal and can become infected or inflamed months or years after initial treatment. If your tooth didn’t heal or new problems arise, Dr. Payal Dholakiya can provide additional support through follow-up procedures. If you’re experiencing pain in a previously treated tooth, make an appointment to visit Orange Coast Endodontics in Irvine, California today.

Endodontic Retreatment Q & A

Why do I need another endodontic procedure?

With any dental procedure, or any medical procedure for that matter, a tooth might not heal as expected after the initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

  • Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure
  • Complicated canals went undetected during the first procedure
  • The placement of the crown, filling or another restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment
  • The restoration didn’t prevent saliva from reaching the inside of the tooth

Sometimes, new problems can affect a tooth that was successfully treated, including:

  • New decay that exposes the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth
  • A loosened, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection
  • A tooth gets fractured

What happens during treatment?

If retreatment is the best option, Dr. Dholakiya reopens your tooth to access the root canal filling material. In many cases, the restorative materials (crown and core material) must be taken apart and removed to give her access to the root canals.

After she removes the canal filling, Dr. Dholakiya can sterilize and clean the canals. This allows for optimal examination of the inside of your tooth using magnification and illumination to search for additional canals or abnormal anatomy that might call for treatment.

Once the canals have been cleaned, Dr. Dholakiya fills and seals them and place a temporary filling in your tooth. If the canals are too narrow or blocked, she may recommend endodontic surgery, which might involve making an incision on the end of the root to make it easier to seal.

After treatment, you’ll get a new crown placed on the tooth to protect it and restore it to its full function.

What are the alternatives?

If Dr. Dholakiya determines that nonsurgical retreatment is not an option, endodontic surgery should be considered. Endodontic surgery might also be recommended in conjunction with retreatment or as an alternative.

The lone other alternative is tooth extraction. The extracted tooth is replaced with an implant, bridge, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent surrounding teeth from repositioning. These options can be far more expensive and time-consuming than retreatment and restoration of the natural tooth.

Nothing compares to your own natural tooth. The benefit of choosing retreatment very well may be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for years to come.