As it sometimes happens with any dental procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after a first endodontic treatment (root canal) but retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime. There are a number of reasons why a tooth would need to be retreated, including curved or narrow canals not being treated during the initial procedure or, perhaps, the placement of the crown, or other restoration, was delayed following the endodontic treatment. Our local Flatbush endodontist, Michael Feinberg, DDS, says even a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated, such as a loose, cracked or broken crown or filling exposing the tooth to new infection.
After your consultation, if you and our local Flatbush endodontist choose retreatment, your tooth will be reopened to gain access to the root canal filling material. After the canal filling is removed, Dr. Feinberg can clean the canals and thoroughly examine the inside of your tooth, using light and magnification, searching for any additional canals that need treatment. After cleaning the canals, they will be filled and sealed, before a temporary filling is placed in the tooth. If the canals are unusually narrow or blocked, Dr. Feinberg may recommend endodontic surgery. This surgery involves making an incision to allow the other end of the root to be sealed.
Advances in technology are consistently changing the way root canal treatment is performed, so our local Flatbush endodontist may use new techniques that were not available when you first had your procedure. Dr. Feinberg may be able to resolve your problem with retreatment but, as with any dental or medical procedure, there are no guarantees. We will discuss your options and the chances of success before beginning retreatment. The only other alternative is extraction of the tooth but then the extracted tooth must be replaced with an implant, bridge or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to stop adjacent teeth from shifting. These options require extensive surgery or dental procedures on the healthy adjacent teeth, so they can be far more costly and time consuming than retreatment and restoration of the natural tooth. The advantage to choosing retreatment could be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for many years to come.