Root Canal Retreatment

Root canal retreatment is a second chance to save the tooth.  Most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last as long as natural teeth, with proper care.  In some cases, a tooth which has received endodontic treatment does not heal or the pain continues.  Sometimes, it can become painful or diseased months or even years after initial successful treatment.

If the tooth did not heal properly or develops new problems, root canal retreatment may be possible.  There are many reasons why a tooth may not heal properly after initial treatment:

  • Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure
  • Complicated canal anatomy was undetected during the first procedure
  • The crown or other restoration was not placed soon enough after the procedure
  • Saliva penetrated the restoration and contaminated the inside of the tooth

What Will Happen During Retreatment?

First, the endodontist will discuss your treatment options.  If you opt for retreatment, the endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material.  In most cases, the complex restorative materials such as crown, post and core material, must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.

Next, the endodontist will clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth, paying special attention to any additional canals or unusual anatomy that may require treatment.  After cleaning the canal,  the endodontist will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.  A second visit will be required as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.