Root Canal / Retreatment

When and Why do I need a Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal treatment is needed when the soft tissue located in a canal inside the root of a tooth, known as the pulp, experiences inflammation or infection.   The pulp is like the “heart of the tooth” and it contains blood vessels, nerves and soft tissues. The anatomy inside of a tooth is very complex and most of the time a single tooth presents more than one canal. 

Inflammation or infection can occur as a result of several things including deep decay, repeated dental procedures, faulty fillings or crowns, or trauma to the tooth.  

Problems with the tooth may present with Toothache, Tenderness to Bite, Pain to Cold, Pain to Heat, Localised of generalised Swelling or a draining spot or lump on the gum (Sinus Drainage)

Sometimes you may not experience any symptoms but still be in need of endodontic treatment and if left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess or potentially negatively affect cardiac issues=

Is The Treatment Painful?

A local anaesthesia is used and we also take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable or painful. 

Most teeth by the very nature of the treatment are necrosed or dead. This means in the majority of cases the tooth has no feeling.

For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours. It is normal for teeth to be sore for a few days after root canal treatment.  

Some teeth, particularly ones that have been problematic for a while, may take a few months to settle. This discomfort is normally from the inflamed supporting tissues.

Do I need to see my dentist after Root Canal Treatment

When your root canal therapy has been completed,  a record of your treatment will be sent to the dentist who referred you. We advise you return to your general dentist between two to six weeks after your root canal treatment is completed to have your final restoration done unless advised differently by us.

This amount of time will allow most of your tenderness to subside before having further procedures done on your tooth. If your tooth does not get the necessary final restoration (Crown or Onlay) the tooth may fracture or leak leading to the tooth being re-infected and need retreatment, microsurgery or extraction.

 The final restoration is either a filling ( Do by US) or a crown/Onlay will be placed ( by YOUR dentist) to protect your tooth from fracture and further contamination and restore your tooth to its full function.  

As the unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, please DO NOT chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have it restored by your dentist.

Root canal Retreatment

When Do I Require Re-Root Treatment or Re-Intervention

A root canal retreatment is needed when the tooth does not heal as expected after initial root canal treatment.   Occasionally, the tooth can become painful or diseased months or even years after successful root canal therapy.   If your tooth has not healed or has developed new problems,  you have a second chance at saving your tooth through the root canal retreatment.

As with any dental or medical procedures, occasionally,  a tooth may fail to heal following the initial treatment for several reasons:  the final restoration was delayed following endodontic treatment;  narrow or curved canals were not treated in full during the first treatment;  complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first treatment;  the placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment;  the restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth (human saliva is full of bacteria that can cause disease if they find their way into the root canal system).   In addition,  new decay or fracture in the tooth,  defective crown or delay in fitting the crown after primary root treatment can expose the tooth to new infection. 

Advancements are constantly changing the way root canal treatment is performed,  so together with our expertise we use new technologies and techniques that were probably not available when you had the first root canal treatment.

What Is the Difference between Root Canal Treatment and Re-Treatment

Retreatment is basically the same as primary root canal treatment; however in many cases, complex restorative materials like crowns and posts must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.  

Removal of posts and broken instruments can be very time consuming, as this needs to be performed prior to the “root canal treatment”

After removing the filling material (which can be rubber, plastic or hard pastes), a search for any additional canals, hidden fractures, perforations (damage during previous treatments), broken instruments or unusual anatomy that may require being dealt with prior to thorough cleaning similar to primary root treatments.

All shaping, cleaning and obturation of the tooth can the be performed.

With retreatments there is a statistically lower success rate. Treatments may also take longer due to more complex treatment protocols, additional visits for resolution or symptoms or medical dressing of the tooth prior to final sealing.

How long does my treatment take?

The time taken will depend on the complexity of the treatment. If the tooth has to be restored prior to treatment or additional restoration after root canal treatment this will take longer.

Around 90% of treatments are done in a single visit of approximately 1.5 hours. If there is complex restoration, removal of crowns or broken instruments this time may be increased to 2 hours.

Occasionally we will book two appointments of 1 hour if there is marked infection or we wish to see resolution of a symptom prior to completion of treatment.

If the patient requires any additional appointments there is no increase in fees.

We will review most patients to follow up their treatment. There is NO fee for any follow up appointments.