I had a root canal treatment done about nine years ago. It had to be re-done a few years after that. Now it is bothering me again. Is it possible to do a root canal treatment a third time?
You can re-do a root canal treatment quite a few times. However, you may want to evaluate whether or not that is your best course of action. Root canal treatments are tricky under the best of circumstances. It is estimated that even when a dentist does everything perfectly, there can still be a 15% failure rate. Why is that?
While there is between one and four canals in a tooth, depending on the type of tooth, there are branches that stem off from the main canal. These can take crazy twists and turns. In some cases, they are literally impossible for us to clean out and seal properly with the current technology we have. If a dentist can’t reach all the pulp, there is a significant chance of re-infection.
In addition to that, the chances of a successful re-treatment go down with each attempt. This will be your third treatment. A second option is root canal surgery. However, some patients are not candidates depending on where the nerves lie.
While a good dentist always tries to save a tooth, the honest answer is some teeth are not saveable despite everyone’s best efforts. In that case, the only thing left is to get a tooth extraction and then a replacement.
If that happens, the two best replacements to look at are a dental implant or a dental bridge. Both will serve you well. Just speak with your dentist about your particular circumstances and he or she will help you make the right decision.
Best of Luck!
This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.