Not All Accessories Are Desirable: Accessory Root Canal Problems
Also known as “undetected root canals,” accessory canals can cause dental issues unknown even to the patient. When a patient experiences pain, sensitivity or even loose teeth, a dental procedure is probably in order, but in the case of accessory canals, symptoms are not always apparent.
Root canal procedures are designed to save teeth and the complementary root canal, but not all treatments are successful or last forever, sometimes due to problems with accessory canals. Tooth pain occasionally occurs months or years following a successful root-canal procedure. There’s no guarantee that your root canal will heal correctly. Considering the complex form and shape of root canals, this isn’t surprising. Undetected problems can hide and simmer without anyone being the wiser. Plus, some root canals are curved or narrow, making it nearly impossible for some dentists to get to the “root” of the problem the first time around.
Rooting Around for Answers
Crown placements, which often go hand-in-hand with root-canal treatments, are usually a two-step procedure with a wait time of a few weeks in between steps. If the dentist didn’t have CEREC same-day crown technology — or the procedure was done in a time before one-day crowns — the time spent waiting for that crown to be made and delivered from the lab could allow infection to set in. Alternatively, a lack of filling or a poor seal could have allowed for contamination.
During that initial root-canal treatment, accessory canals may have been overlooked, or they may have been invaded by bacteria. Your root canals are home for your tooth’s pulp, which includes connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves. It’s a complicated system, similar to a tree’s roots. With so many tiny channels connected to major canals, it’s nearly impossible to guarantee cleanliness of all of them. They’re most often found in parts of the mouth where multi-rooted teeth come together, but can technically be located anywhere.
Since accessory canals are a huge challenge to find, let alone clean and fill, they’re ideal hiding spots for bacteria. Getting tissue trapped in just one of them can lead to root infection or even death. Worse, if they lead to the periodontal membrane, they can cause periodontal and endodontic issues. However, there’s good news: A root canal failure doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Patients have another chance with re-treatment.
It’s a battle, but accessory canals can be treated — and the procedure might even save a tooth. However, only an endodontist can undertake this kind of challenge. They have the latest technology and techniques to treat even the tiniest of canals. Rely on a specialist to handle this intricate (and sometimes stubborn) root system.