Have you recently had a root canal of Tyler? Are you still feeling pain and suspecting that the procedure has failed? The issue could be that there are more problems in the pulp area that still need to be addressed. Your dentist will discuss these mishaps, what causes them and the restorative processes available to fix them.
What is a Root Canal?
First, let’s establish what the function of a root canal is. It is a procedure used to repair a tooth when decay has reached the pulp, the area that houses the nerves. The root canal process involves removing the decayed tissue, cleaning the area, filling and sealing it. This typically restores the tooth to its normal function.
Why Do Root Canals Fail?
Sometimes the root canal procedure is not successful. There are several factors that can contribute to this:
- Poor Oral Hygiene – Poor oral hygiene can cause a root canal to fail. The tooth is still susceptible to decay, so proper brushing and flossing is still quite necessary.
- Failure to Clean the Entire Root Canal – If one of the root canals wasn’t cleaned properly, this can lead to reinfection.
- Breakdown of the Dental Crown – If the dental cracks or breaks, bacteria can reinter the canals and cause another infection.
What can make the root canal process so tedious is the fact that all teeth aren’t made the same. That means that some of them will have hidden canals that are impossible to reach with standard tools.
For example, lower incisors are only supposed to have only one canal, but there are times when there can be two. In such a situation, your dentist will have to trace his way through the tooth to the hidden portion. If unsuccessful, the tooth can become abscessed and could possibly require extraction.
Ways to Repair a Failed Root Canal
Thankfully, there are some ways of addressing failed root canals. Here are two of them:
- Remove and Refill – One strategy is to remove the old endodontic filling, re-fill it and then make a better seal.
- Apicoectomy (Root Canal Surgery) – A more invasive procedure is to perform a root canal surgery, where the endodontist accesses the root of the tooth by making an incision into the gums. The tip of the root is cut off and the area is cleaned and sealed.
If you’ve recently had a root canal done, be sure to do your part, which is practicing excellent oral hygiene, eating healthier foods and visiting your dentist for cleanings and examinations. In the event that it fails, it will be easier to determine the cause, since you and your dentist will have record of the condition of your mouth and the effectiveness of your oral care.
If you find yourself wondering if your root canal is failing, don’t hesitate to contact your local dentist to be seen as soon as possible. The quicker you act, the simpler the resolution will be.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and went on to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association and several other professional organizations. Dr. Stansbury practices at Stansbury Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.