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Root Canals

2 root canals

05/07/2007

Question:

Is it possible to have a root canal done on the same tooth? My daughter had a root canal and the tooth later cracked and it had only been cracked maybe 10 days and when we took her to the dentist, he said he had to do another one and then put on a crown, is it possible to get infection that fast? She wasn`t in pain or anything...

Answer:

I can not speak to your particular situation without evaluating you myself. However, having a root canal done a second time on the same tooth is called a retreatment and is a very common endodontic procedure. Retreatments need to be done for a number of reasons, with leakage and reinfection being predominant ones. You will not always have pain when a root canal is reinfected. Pain is usually the exception rather than the rule.

Cracking usually occurs long before it is clinically evident, (i.e. before anything actually breaks) and this crack can allow a pathway for bacteria to get in and reinfect the tooth, similar to what happens with decay (a cavity). This could necessitate a retreatment.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University