If your dentist tells you that you have a tooth that needs a second root canal, you may think he or she is crazy. After all, a tooth cannot have two root canals–or can it? When a tooth needs a root canal, the tooth will typically never need another one. But there are times when a second one may be needed. Here are two of the most common reasons why a tooth would need a second root canal.

The Dentist Missed Some of the Roots

A root canal procedure is only used when decay has traveled deep into a tooth. When decay gets into a tooth, it can begin working its way into the roots of the tooth. As this happens, an infection might form in the roots. This is why most people feel pain when they need a root canal.

When the dentist performs a root canal, the goal is to remove all the decay, bacteria, and infection from the roots of the tooth. While a dentist will do everything possible to make sure every root is cleaned out, there are times when he or she might miss some of the roots. The roots of a tooth can be hidden or hard to find, which is why there is a chance that some may be skipped over.

If this happens, the infection will still be present in the untreated roots and might begin to spread. This is one of the most common reasons second root canals are needed.

Problems With the Dental Crown

The second-most common reason this can happen is due to a problem with the dental crown. When a dentist completes a root canal, it is typical for him or her to place a temporary crown over the tooth. After a few weeks, the temporary crown is replaced with a permanent crown, which is glued in place.

If you fail to get your permanent crown put on your tooth, you could be asking for trouble. A permanent crown is designed to protect the remaining part of the tooth, and it will stop bacteria from entering into the roots.

If you get the permanent crown and experience problems with it, such as it falling off or cracking, this could also create opportunities for bacteria to get inside the roots.

Dentists will only recommend second root canals when they are needed, and these are often referred to as retreatment procedures. If your dentist tells you that you need this procedure, make sure you get it completed so that you can prevent losing this tooth completely. Contact a profession dentist, like Baker Allan DDS for more details.