Treatments Completed When A Root Canal Fails

20 November 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you have had a root canal completed in the past, then you may understand that some of these treatments will ultimately end in failure. While failure is not a common occurrence, it is something that can happen if the right circumstances are present. If the root canal fails, your dentist can complete different treatments to remove bacteria. Keep reading to learn a little bit about them.

Second Root Canal

In some cases, a second root canal will be completed if the first one failed. The process will be a bit more involved than the original treatment. The crown must be released from the tooth first. Unfortunately, diamond tipped blades are used to cut the crown from your tooth. This means it will be irreparably damaged, so you will need a new one. 

Once the crown is removed, the post within the center of the tooth is drilled out. This may take some time as well, especially if a hard post is cemented in place. Typically, the center core of the tooth is a gutta percha one, which is soft. Once the center is drilled from the tooth, it is cleaned out thoroughly to remove any bacteria that were left behind. 

Since bacteria were not killed during the first treatment, your dentist may decide to use antibacterial medication within the tooth to make sure that the microorganisms deep in the dental roots do not linger and remain alive. If this happens, then you will need to return to the dental office a few days later to have the root canal finished. Finishing involves rinsing the tooth, replacing the internal filling material, and securing a new crown.

Endodontic Surgery

If your dentist is concerned about the possibility of your second root canal failing or if more than one root canal has already been performed, then a surgical treatment will be completed instead. This is also the case if your teeth are brittle or fragile and may end up cracking during an additional treatment. 

During a surgical treatment, your dentist will make an incision through the gum tissues and the bone so the dental roots can be accessed. The tips of the roots will then be cut and surgically removed. The very end of each root is typically cleaned out as well to remove any lingering bacteria and they are filled in afterwards. Your incision is stitched up at this point.

If bacteria continue to cause infection issues, then there is a possibility that your tooth will need to be removed. However, your dental professional will do everything possible to make sure that extraction can be avoided. Contact a dentist, like Webster John B DDS, to talk about your options after your root canal.