Why Do You Need Another Root Canal Treatment On The Same Tooth?

Posted on

Once you've had a successful root canal treatment, your tooth will feel much better. Your dentist will have cleaned out the infection and filled or crowned the tooth.

While this treatment fixes the problem for most people, some people get reinfected in the same tooth and start to experience the same abscess symptoms again. This can happen months or even years after the original procedure.

Why do you need another root canal procedure on the same tooth?

Residual Infection

If you have a dental abscess then you have a bacterial infection in the canals inside the tooth. These canals hold the pulp that helps a tooth grow. If bacteria get inside a tooth, then they can infect some or all of this pulp.

The main work your dentist does during a root canal treatment is to clean out the canals to remove the infected material. Each tooth has multiple canals. However, it isn't always easy to find or access all of them.

For example, some canals can be curved, narrow or hidden. In some cases, tiny spots of bacteria might sit at the top of a canal where they can't be easily seen or accessed.

If you leave even a small amount of bacteria in a tooth, then there is a chance that your infection will come back. Even though most of the pulp in your tooth was removed, there might be enough left in there to become infected again.

So, you'll feel the same kind of pain you felt before your first treatment; however, it might not be as intense if most of your pulp is gone. Your dentist will need to reopen the tooth and clean it out again. Often, this second sweep solves the problem once and for all.

New Infection

Some people have to have a second root canal procedure because the tooth gets a new infection. The first treatment dealt with the infection effectively, but more bacteria got inside the tooth.

Often, this is down to a problem with the filling or crown over the original tooth. For example, if a crown cracks, then bacteria can get inside it. You won't necessarily know that it has a crack; you can't get inside the tooth to clean it out. The bacteria can grow inside the tooth's canals and cause another infection.

Here, a dentist will clean the tooth out again. They will also fix the problem that caused the new infection.

To find out more about your options here, talk to a dentist.