Typically, teeth which have had a root canal treatment feel and function as well as any other tooth in your mouth. With proper restoration and care, root canal treated teeth can last a lifetime. Yet, there are situations in which a tooth that has had a root canal can become re-infected or can start to cause you discomfort or pain. If this occurs, your dentist may recommend a root canal retreatment.
There are a number of reasons that a previously root canal treated tooth may need to be retreated. A cavity may get under an existing filling or crown, allowing bacteria to re-infect the root canal. Or, there may be unique anatomy which was inadequately cleaned during the first treatment that is causing the problem. Your Endodontist at the Root Canal Center of Naples will evaluate your tooth to determine the cause of the problem and will review potential treatment options with you.
During retreatment, the tooth is adequately numbed. A protective rubber sheet is applied to the tooth to keep the working field as clean as possible and to protect you. Under a powerful microscope, a small hole is typically made through the chewing surface of the tooth for back teeth, or from the tongue-side of the tooth for a front tooth. Through this small hole the previous root canal filling material is removed, and the root canal system is completely cleaned and disinfected. Your Endodontist will then carefully assess the internal structure of the tooth and will either apply a medicated paste or will fill the canal system as needed. Typically, the tooth is permanently filled with a mixture of biocompatible cement and a material called gutta percha (which is similar to rubber). The small hole will then be sealed with either a permanent or temporary filling, based on the recommendation from your dentist.