Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

Two Ways To Treat A Reinfected Tooth After A Root Canal

by Charlotte Beck

When a tooth becomes infected, a common solution dentists employ is to have root canals to remove the pulp causing the problem and save the tooth. However, sometimes the tooth becomes infected again after the procedure. This may happen for any number of reasons, and here are two ways this situation may be treated.

Second Root Canal

The best option for retreatment of a reinfected tooth depends on the cause of the problem. One of the more common reasons for something like this to occur is that the tooth experienced further decay or sustained damage that allowed bacteria to invade the space. For instance, the crown covering the tooth may have cracked, providing an entryway for bacteria. If you don't maintain good oral health habits, the tooth may experience further decay and become infected again as a result.

Another reason may be infected debris that was left behind. Tooth roots that are curved or narrow can make it difficult to scrape out all the pulp. Alternatively, there may have been parts of the tooth's anatomy that went undetected and, thus, untreated.

In either of these events, a dentist's first course of treatment will typically be to do a second root canal. This will involve removing the crown and/or dental filling and removing any leftover debris or cleaning and disinfecting the tooth again.

There aren't any additional risks or side effects to performing this procedure. However, be aware that your dental or health insurance may not fully cover this second treatment, as many policies only pay for one root canal within a certain time period (e.g. per year). Contact your health insurance agent to determine what your coverage options are.


A second possible treatment for a reinfected tooth is an apicoectomy. A dentist may recommend this procedure if he or she determines the infection is caused by something near the root apex or the root tip itself. An apioectomy involves cutting into the gum tissues to access the tooth's root, removing the infected tissues as well as the root apex, and then sealing the root with a biocompatible material.

An apicoectomy can save the tooth's life. However, like any other type of surgery, there are risks involved. Since the roots are so close to major nerves in the jaw, there is a risk of sustaining nerve damage. However, this risk is tiny. Dental technology is advanced enough the dentist can usually get a good view of how much room he or she has to work with.

Another issue is that teeth in the upper, back part of the jaw are also near the sinuses, which may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, the dentist will either prescribe antibiotics or decongestants to minimize this possibility.

For more information about these treatments, contact a dentist or oral surgeon at a location such as Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics.


About Me

Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

As a homeschool parent and independent contractor, I don't always have time to practice good dental care. I often find myself in a rush just to meet my daily tasks and goals. My lack of good dental care eventually caught up with me. After experiencing severe pain in my back tooth, I made an appointment with my dentist. My dentist found a large hole in the center of the tooth. Root canal treatment couldn't save the tooth, so my dentist extracted it. I learned a very painful and valuable lesson that day. No matter how hectic my life is, I should still make time to brush and floss my teeth properly. I'm here to help you and other people avoid painful dental problems with my blog. I offer tips on how to keep your teeth clean and how to spot dental problems before they get out of control. Good luck.