Root Canal treatment- A root canal treatment (RCT) is the most conservative treatment to save the natural teeth which is infected. This treatment is generally, introduced when the infection spreads in a tooth root reaching the tip of the root. Sometimes, the lesion further invades in the soft tissue and form a clear infection line associated with root apex, seen in the x-ray.

Root canal treatment

Re- Root Canal treatment- Once the primary root canal treatment fails, that particular tooth can be saved without any invasive surgery just by re- treating its root canals (Re-RCT) again to remove the infection. The symptoms of failed root canals can cause serious pain to the patient and calls for an emergency endodontic visit.

Secondary infection with primary root canal treated tooth
Re- root canal treatment done

Causes of root canal failure:    

  • Continuance of bacteria causing secondary infection in the canal or outside the canal- on tooth or its roots.
  • Incomplete filling of canals or chances of re occurrence is also due to poorly cleaned canals.
  • Out stretched root canal filling extending beyond the root tip in the soft tissue.
  • Irregular seal at the tooth- root junction, delivering micro- leakage in the canal.
  • Salivary contamination while sealing a root canal.
  • Missed treating canals, either major or accessory.  

Misconception related to re- root canal treatment:

  • Painful procedure- Some patients fear to undergo the re-treatment again as they had experienced pain, post primary root canal treatment. It is very normal to have moderate pain after root canal treatment for few days and subsides on its own. If the pain in the root canal treated tooth is beyond the moderate range then it proclaims the re- treatment to be done by your dentist.
  • RCT causes illness- Dental pain is considered to be the most severe pains compared to other systemic problems, causing pain. Many of them fear of getting sick after they had RCT done. But, it is always better to preserve natural teeth than to get it replaced by any other option. Slight tenderness on chewing with RC treated teeth is there for 3 to 7 days and then the patient adapts to the new changes- definitely he or she is relieved of severe pain with which they had reported to the clinic for.
  • Preferring extraction over RCT- Patients in severe pain with root canal treated tooth prefer extraction as the final option to get immediate comfort from pain. This is not true, extraction is the surgical procedure requiring sure pain post extraction and losing a tooth which could have been saved. The symptomatic pain calling for re- root canal treatment, there is absolutely no pain while performing a re-RCT again.  

Another endodontic treatment options: 

  • Endodontic surgery-Small fractures with root or a tooth can be corrected by endodontic surgery followed by root canal treatment, gives the best restored tooth making it last longer. Sometimes, it has been noticed that after primary root canal treatment there is small fracture present which can be surgically treated.

Advanced tools used in re- root canal treatments:

  • Dental microscopes and loupes used in performing re- root canal treatment facilitates high resolution making the operating field clear, making the work easy and precise. 
  • Digital x-rays are taken with RVG 5100 digital sensor which records fast and immediate HD images showing sharp images of the root canal.

Re- root canal treatment done with rotary system:

Apex locator- It is generally used to measure the lengths of root canals avoiding the conventional radiographic methods. We have Canal pro by Coltene apex locator to measure the canal length digitally for a faster, more accurate and radiation free process.

Endo Motor: This is used in cleaning and shaping of a root canal using specialized files. To accomplish this we have Endo Motor from Dentsply which provides better treatment outcomes. 

Rotary File system used:

  1. Protaper NEXT
  2. Kerr Endo K3/ Quantec, K3X
  3. Profile Rotary Files
  4. F360 endo-system by Komet
  5. Endowave from J Morita
  6. Hero 642
  7. Pathfile-A new Maillefer rotary Nickel Titanium system
  8. ProGlider-Rotary Glide path file from DENTSPLY
  9. HyFlexCM Rotary file by COLTENE
  10. Self Adjusting File system (SAF)
  11. Adaptive& advanced endodontic system

Re- root canal treatment kits:

  • Protaper Universal from Dentsply
  • Masserann kit to retrieve separated instruments. 

Q1. Do root canal causes health problems?

A1. Root canal infection is not the cause of any systemic illness, major or minor. Root canal treatment if done does not leave any necrotic bone in your tissue.  

Q2. What should you do after a root canal?

A2. Most commonly there is slight discomfort felt after the completion of root canal which lasts for few days. If you experience pain post treatment then painkillers available over the counter can be taken as needed. Intake of medication is also temporary;one need not take it for long time.

Q3. Do I need crown after the root canal treatment is finished?

A3. Yes, it is important to get a crown over root canal treated tooth. As it restores its functional abilities and reinforces strength in the root canal treated tooth making minimal chances of wear and tear.