You have probably heard someone say that they have had a failed root canal, that they have lost a tooth that had its nerve "killed", or that they have had a tooth cracked and had to have it removed. Like everything in life, this has its part truth and part myth, If you read on, I'll explain why.
Endodontics of a tooth, devitalisation, or colloquially "killing the nerve" is one of the most successful treatments performed in dental clinics, provided it is done properly by a professional who has mastered the speciality. This treatment allows us to preserve a tooth that has become infected, because we remove the living part, or dental pulp, and preserve the rest of the tooth.
The success of an endodontically treated tooth is of approximately 96%, although it depends on the condition of the tooth, especially the size of the cavity or fracture. When it fails and finally has to be extracted, only one in five cases is due to endodontics. Not bad, right?
In the remaining cases the problem is due to the resistance of the tooth, which decreases after root canal treatment, but this is not so accurate either.
Traditionally it was said that root canal treatment dehydrated the tooth and affected its rigidity, causing more fractures, as would happen to a dry tree branch. However, by doing the appropriate studies, it has been found that the rigidity of the tooth is only affected in 5%, the rest of the time it is only affected in 5%. is due to how large the cavity was originally.
But, what happens in those cases where the root canal has failed and the tooth is still infected?
This is likely to be due to incorrect technique, and the solution is usually to repeat treatment. This is called re-endodontics.
Second root canal treatment, or re-endodontics, is particularly sensitive because we are no longer only dependent on the condition of the tooth itself, but also on the previous treatment that has been carried out, which is likely to make it difficult for us to do it ourselves.
Success rates are minors when performing re-endodontics than when performing endodontics in the first place.
Apart from the above, is due to the fact that the bacteria that survive the first endodontic are the most resistant, and when they reproduce it is much more difficult to eliminate them completely.
Even so, re-endodontics works, in about 3 out of 4 cases. Here are some example images showing how it looks like this.