A root canal is an important procedure that helps to restore the health and functionality of an injured or infected tooth. In this therapy, the endodontist cleans and disinfects the ailing pulp cavity before sealing it with a rubbery material. The treated pulp is then covered with a crown for maximum protection. Sometimes, the healing process after undergoing a root canal can be complicated. The pain may not recede, or the wound may not heal well, necessitating a retreatment. Here are some of the common causes for retreatment after a root canal:
Complicated Anatomy of the Canal
Not all tooth canals have the same anatomy. You may have a narrow or curved canal that elevates the possibility of some areas being left without adequate treatment or disinfection. Such complicated tooth canal anatomies are often a source of subsequent infections or decay after the root canal therapy, even though the symptoms may not show up immediately.
Delays during Crown Placement
In most cases, a root canal is done in several stages, depending on the severity of the problem. The endodontist has to let the treated area heal for a few days before performing the subsequent procedure. This rest period not only allows for proper healing but also gives your body adequate time to respond to the disinfectants and materials that have been used in place of the pulp cavity before the tooth is sealed off completely. It is important to crown the tooth within the period stated by the endodontist, although unavoidable circumstances can force you to cancel the appointment for a day or two. This delay can lead to infection and force you to get a retreatment.
Your mouth contains many bacteria, some of which are harmful and cause diseases when they reach open wounds. Therefore, salivary contamination can occur during the root canal procedure, especially if the bacteria is resistant to the disinfectants used during the initial procedure. Here, the procedure is repeated using a suitable disinfectant after a careful evaluation of the nature of the bacterial infection.
The root canal therapy is not a guarantee that your tooth is immune to decay. New decay can occur under a different set of circumstances, exposing the canal filling to a host of disease-causing agents. This can result from broken and cracked crowns or bacterial contamination of the adjacent teeth.
After a root canal therapy, you should monitor your healing and look out for signs that you need retreatment. This includes swollen gums around the treated region, pain long after the treatment, and abnormal discharge like pus. If you see any, see your endodontist as soon as possible.