If you have unbearable tooth pain, an emergency root canal may be necessary. The pain may be due to severe damage or a bad infection. If not treated right away, the damage may be so bad that it overtakes the tooth. In this case, the tooth would need to be extracted to prevent the infection…
How Long Does an Endodontic Retreatment Procedure Take?
A root canal preserves a severely damaged tooth but does not make it impervious. If the tooth becomes decayed again, endodontic retreatment may be required to save it.
Having already been through one root canal, you already have an idea of what to expect. The retreatment is similar in many respects. However, if it has been many years since your first root canal, there may be new endodontic techniques that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the procedure that were not available before. This may result in a better long-term outcome.
Length of the endodontic retreatment procedure
An endodontic retreatment is essentially a repeat root canal. Therefore, if you remember how long your first procedure took, the length of the retreatment should be comparable. On average, it takes about 90 minutes.
Other issues related to endodontic retreatment
If you are considering endodontic retreatment upon the recommendation of your endodontist, you may have other questions to which you want answers before deciding to proceed with the procedure.
What happens during endodontic retreatment?
As with the original root canal, the process begins with imaging to determine the extent of the problem and plan the procedure. Cone-beam CT scans or X-rays may be used for imaging. Otherwise, the procedure resembles the original root canal, with flushing and sanitizing the tooth following removal of all infected material. The only difference is that, following your first root canal, you probably had dental work performed to strengthen and support the tooth. This has to be removed before the retreatment can take place.
Will the retreatment hurt?
Endodontic retreatment is no more painful than the original root canal procedure. In both cases, the affected area is numbed beforehand so that you do not feel anything during the procedure. There may be discomfort afterward, but this is to be expected.
What is retreatment's success rate?
The success rate of retreatment is similar to that of the original root canal but slightly lower. It ranges from 80% to 88%. Following your endodontist's instructions after the procedure helps to reduce your risk of failure.
Why do you need endodontic retreatment?
There are several reasons why endodontic retreatment may be necessary. You may have a new problem, such as a fracture of the tooth or the crown that exposes the tooth to contaminating bacteria or a failure to maintain adequate oral hygiene, resulting in a new infection.
It could also be a complication arising from the original treatment that prevented it from healing the way it was expected to do. For example, placement of the restoration may have been delayed, allowing the vulnerable tooth to be exposed to infectious bacteria. The anatomy of the canal may have been more complicated than previously thought, or it may not have been treated completely because it was too curved or narrow.
It can be frustrating to learn that a tooth that had a root canal in the past requires retreatment. However, the procedure is virtually the same, and the success rate is comparable.
Even if a previously treated tooth has become diseased again, it may still be possible to save it with endodontic retreatment. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.
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