Endodontics (Root Canal)

It’s a “Do Over”

How do you spell relief? Well, if you've ever had a major infection that's reached the roots of your tooth, relief probably meant R-O-O-T-C-A-N-A-L. A root canal can help get you out of pain and can prevent the need for a tooth extraction. For the most part, root canals are successful—and your dental treatment may last a lifetime. But for the five percent of root canals that don't heal, endodontic retreatment is often necessary to save the tooth.

What’s the Point?

Endodontic therapy is a complicated procedure that uses files to extract infected pulp from the root. When the infection remains in the root's canals, the tooth may not heal, causing it to become reinfected.

There are several ways this can happen:

  • Newly formed tooth decay can cause a leakage of bacteria into the root canal.
  • The dental crown used to protect the tooth cracks, breaks or is placed too late, allowing new infection to enter the root.
  • The roots weren't cleaned thoroughly or where missed completely—it can be difficult to remove the infection in curved root canals and some of the canals may be too hard to see, causing them to remain untreated.
  • The roots were incorrectly sealed or filled.
  • The tooth was contaminated by saliva during the procedure.