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Root Canal Therapy Retreatment

Some patients may find that a tooth they recently had treated with root canal therapy now requires more endodontic treatment. This is often due to the complexity of the root and the difficulty in removing bacteria. When a tooth requires retreatment following a root canal procedure, our staff at Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery can help.

Why Would I Need Retreatment?

Retreatment is needed when the infection has continued or returned following their initial procedure. This can occur for several reasons including:

•  Bacteria Remained in a Narrow Portion: The root of the tooth can be complicated, there can be narrow or curved passages that extend from the root. Bacteria that has found itself in these narrow areas can be missed during the first therapy treatment.
•  Bacteria Can Enter Before Crown Placement: Dental cement is not full coverage, it can have hairline gaps or shrinkage when it hardens..At times, bacteria can find its way into gaps in the cement or cracks in the tooth before we have had the opportunity to seal the tooth with a dental crown.
•  Contamination During Procedure: Though we do our best to remove all of the bacteria during your initial root canal treatment, there can be contamination. Bacteria is complex, the tooth coming into contact with something as simple as your saliva during treatment can contaminate the tooth and introduce bacteria.

Retreatment Procedure

Repeating your root canal therapy process is similar to the first procedure with a few differences. We will begin by ensuring the patient is comfortable with a local anesthetic; there are also some conscious sedation options available if needed. Once the patient is comfortable, we will:

•  Remove Previous Work: We will need to remove the dental crown, remove the filling material and remove the medicated rubber material from inside the tooth.
•  Examine the Root: We will closely examine the root with a microscope and light, view the infected area, and review the shape of the root to see if anything is different from the standard shape.
•  Cleanse: Taking the shape, along with any curved or narrow passages, into consideration, we will once again cleanse the area to remove the infection. For some patients, depending on the shape of their root, this may require an incision in the gum tissue.
•  Sealed: The root is once again filled with new medicated rubber material and covered in dental cement. Depending on the patient and procedure performed, we may recommend waiting to see how the tooth does before placing a dental crown over the tooth.

The retreatment of a root canal procedure is not due to anything that the patient or dentist did, dental work and removing infection-causing bacteria can be a complex process. Our team is happy to review the steps with you and guide you through the process. Working together, we can help you have better oral health.

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Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery
911 Hampshire Road Suite 4
Westlake Village, CA 91361

(805) 495-7416