When your tooth begins to hurt, you should see your dentist. They will inform you that you require root canal treatment. When it was completed, as far as you were concerned, that was the end of that. So, why exactly would the same tooth start to hurt again?

Your Initial Root Canal Treatment

To perform the root canal treatment, your dentist will have opened the tooth by creating a cavity or widening an existing cavity. This allows them to access the pulp chamber, where the inflamed dental pulp (which was the cause of your primary distress) is located. It will be removed, and then the empty chamber is cleaned and filled. The access cavity is then sealed with a filling, and this is usually finished with a dental crown. When the tooth begins to hurt again, it's because your pulp chamber and the root canals beneath it were hiding something.

The Shape of a Tooth

Considering the approximate shape of a tooth (roughly like a vertical rectangle), you might think that the internal pulp chamber is similarly vertical. And it is, although there can be more to it. For many people, the initial root canal treatment will result in the comprehensive removal of your inflamed dental pulp, and no further action is needed. However, some pulp chambers like to accessorize.

The Accessory Canal

An accessory canal is a tiny additional canal that branches out from the primary root canal at the base of the tooth. These are difficult to spot, and as such, may have avoided the irrigation and sterilization that was carried out during your root canal treatment. This means that the bacterial buildup that caused the deterioration of your dental pulp was not entirely eliminated, which results in the return of your discomfort.

Additional Treatment

Retreatment is needed for these accessory canals. Diagnostic work will be needed to identify the location of the canals, and then the tooth must be reopened, with its filling material removed so that these accessory canals can be treated. Then the tooth is refilled and sealed again. And now—that should be the end of that.

Nobody wants to hear that retreatment is necessary for their root canal work, but when accessory canals are present, this is the only way to proceed. So if your tooth should start to cause discomfort after treatment, you and your dentist need to hunt for these possible accessory canals.

To learn more about root canals, contact a local dental surgeon.