A root canal is often done in the event of an infection inside the tooth. It is meant to clean out the infection and seal the tooth to keep new bacteria out. During the procedure, a hole is drilled in your tooth. The cavities are cleaned and disinfected and the pulp and the root of the tooth removed.
The empty spaces are filled and then the tooth is capped with a crown, which is meant to provide the tooth with strength as well as protect it from bacteria.
In most instances, once the root canal is done, your tooth stays healthy. However, in some cases, you may require a re-treatment.
WHAT CAUSES ISSUES WITH A ROOT CANAL?
There are several issues that may warrant a root canal re-treatment:
• One or more of the smaller canals were missed, so bacteria still remains inside the tooth.
• The crown wasn’t placed in a timely manner, so bacteria were able to reenter the tooth.
• The crown did not properly seal the tooth, so bacteria were able to get in underneath.
One of the most obvious signs that you will need re-treatment for your root canal is experiencing pain again in the same tooth, well after it has healed from the initial treatment. Pain is often the indication that something is not right, and can signify a new infection.
DAMAGE TO THE CROWN
While crowns are designed to withstand normal chewing forces, sometimes accidents happen. You might accidentally bite down on something too hard, or experience facial trauma that causes damage to the restoration. If it cracks or breaks, it can easily let bacteria inside to re-infect the tooth.
The best ways to determine if you need re-treatment for your root canal is with a visit to the dentist. Your dentist is trained to detect problems early during your regular dental visits. If he sees anything that looks out of place, he can order an X-ray which will show exactly what is going on underneath your crown.
If something seems off with your root canal, contact our office. A simple exam will be able to tell if you need to have the tooth retreated, or if another option is a better alternative.