Research shows that root canals have a success rate of 91.7%. Slightly more than 8 times in a hundred a root canal fails. The root canal system of a tooth branches out at the end of the root-like a delta on a river forming accessory canals. If a sufficient number of these have necrotic pulp tissue in them bacteria can grow and an abscess will occur. If you have periodontal disease (gingivitis or periodontitis) bacteria from the mouth enters the bloodstream and will grow in susceptible areas. There may or may not be symptoms (pain and/or draining fistula – pus pimple near the tooth) depending on the amount of pressure that builds up. An x-ray would most likely show a dark area (radiolucency) at the end of the root varying with length of time infection.
There are three options to resolve this problem.
a) Retreatment of the root canal in the conventional way by your endodontist or general dentist
b) Apicoectomy - remove the last 3 mms of the tooth (research shows us that most accessary canals are located here). The canal is prepared for a retrograde filling of MTA (a biocompatible material that bone can grow up to). A bone graft with a barrier membrane is done to ensure complete bone repair in the void in your jaw.
c) Extract the tooth
Call us at (401) 273-6161 or schedule an appointment with our experienced dentist at our dental office in Providence, RI. We'll be happy to guide you further.