With proper care, most teeth that have had endodontic (root canal) treatment can last as long as natural teeth. Root canals performed by endodontists (root canal specialists) have a 95% success rate. In some cases, however, a tooth that has received endodontic treatment fails to heal. Occasionally, the tooth becomes painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment.
As occasionally happens, with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth, like any part of the body, 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 jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated.
Decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, recontaminating it, causing a new infection in the tooth.
A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can also expose the tooth to new contamination.
If a tooth sustains a fracture, it may also become contaminated.
Retreatment will be necessary once tooth is deemed salvageable and may require two or more visits.
This would involve the following:
At the initial visit the endodontist will examine the tooth, take x-rays and discuss your treatment options. If you and your endodontist choose retreatment, the retreatment will be intiated immediately or be scheduled for a future date.