When a root canal treatment is done in a tooth the canals are sealed to prevent bacteria from establishing themselves inside your tooth chamber and canals. But if the bacteria manage to reinvade the tooth and reach the tip of the root an infection or an abscess is formed in the surrounding bone. This condition can go unnoticed until an x-ray picture is taken or it can manifest itself with a painful swelling. There are several reasons why the tooth got the infection:
- The restoration of the tooth with a permanent filling or crown has allowed bacteria to re-enter the tooth.
- The temporary restoration had deteriorated over time and there is decay in the tooth.
- Narrow or curved root canals sometimes pose complications during the initial treatment and prevent the decontamination of the full length of the canal. The uncleaned area can host bacteria that will continue thriving and affect the surrounding bone.
- An inadequate filling or seal of the root canals allowed recontamination.
- A crack has developed in the tooth, allowing bacteria to establish themselves in the broken part.
In conclusion the reason your tooth is sore or there is a lump next to it, is due to a bacterial infection. It is important to remove the bacteria and prevent them from spreading. That is why once the infection is discovered there is a need to clean the canals, remove the bacteria and re-establish a good seal. There are several ways to do that, so I need examine the condition of the tooth, the surrounding gum and the bone before making any recommendations. In considering what is the best treatment of the tooth, all options should be reviewed, together with the risks, benefits and alternatives. Assuming the tooth can be treated and restored, a root canal “retreatment”, is needed.
In a retreatment, a small hole is made in the top side or chewing surface of the tooth to gain access to the root canals. Many times obstructing the access to the canal openings are complex restorative materials, a crown, a post or core material which need to be “disassembled” and removed to permit access to the root canals. Once the canals are accessible the Then root canal filling materials are removed along with the bacteria present, and the canals are cleaned and carefully examined. Sometimes additional canals or unusual canals have been overlooked in the previous treatment or cracks that are not visible in the x-ray are uncovered. After cleaning and shaping the canals they will be sealed and a temporary filling or crown placed.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Kaufman or to call today Tooronga Family Dentistry, phone number 98227006, if you suffer from an infected root canal treatment or make an appointment to examine its condition.