What to Expect When Getting Root Canal Retreatment
If your initial root canal treatment was carried out at Truly Dental, your dentist will have emphasised the importance to you of keeping to a regular, 6-monthly check-up and cleaning schedule, to monitor your treated tooth for any issues as well as to maintain your overall oral health. Whether you have booked a consultation with our clinic as a new or an existing patient, your dentist will always first carry out a full and comprehensive examination of your teeth, gums and bone, and will address all specific concerns or issues you are experiencing.
Your need for retreatment may become obvious from symptoms such as pain or discomfort at the site of an old root canal treatment. Alternatively, this may have been an incidental finding of infection or inflammation from your dentist during your examination.
At this stage, your dentist will likely take a detailed X-ray of your tooth to establish the extent of the infection affecting your root, to assess in detail the internal anatomy of your tooth and to allow them to properly plan for your treatment. If your case is more severe or the re-infection extensive, it may be appropriate to carry out an alternative treatment – a minor surgical procedure known as an Apicectomy – and your dentist will be able to discuss this possibility with you at this assessment.
They will be able to answer any questions you may have at this stage, to fully prepare you for the retreatment itself, and to go through all options for restoration procedures following the treatment that are relevant to your case. This detailed treatment plan will include a complete estimate of the time until completion of your full treatment, as well as a breakdown of the total costs involved.
The retreatment procedure
Your dentist will use a highly effective local anaesthetic to numb your mouth prior to treatment. This ensures that the procedure will be completely pain-free, and you will feel little more than some gentle vibration throughout - similar to getting a dental filling. Do speak to your dentist if you have any worries about undergoing treatment due to anxiety, fear, or stress caused by dental procedures, as we make the option of undergoing any treatment under dental sedation available to all of our patients - the ideal solution for any patient who suffers from dental anxiety or severe nerves.
Retreatment of your root canal treated-tooth begins with your dentist drilling a small hole into the tooth to access the root filling material. If you have a crown on your tooth they will either fully remove the crown to expose the filled root or else drill through the crown if appropriate. Your dentist will then proceed to remove the artificial filling material, after which using very fine dental files they will precisely and carefully clean the inside of your root canal system. At Truly Dental our endodontic dentist uses our high-tech surgical microscope at this stage to inspect for any unusual anatomy or cracks within the tooth to offset any further complications.
After your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned the interior will be sterilised with an anti-microbial solution to kill any lingering bacteria, before finally the root canals of your tooth will be resealed and filled. Your dentist will have advised you at the treatment planning stage whether or not you will need a new crown placed after this retreatment, or if your previous crown is salvageable and can simply be re-bonded. If your old crown is not offering you sufficient protection and needs to be replaced, then a 3D impression for your new crown will be taken at this stage so that the fabrication process can begin right away. It is vital to have your new crown placed in this instance as soon as possible after your retreatment, to reduce any risk of the procedure failing.