Endodontic Retreatment

With appropriate care, the teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may develop. Sometimes, symptoms may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed.

Improper healing may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals that were not treated during the initial treatment.
  • Complicated canals that went undetected during the initial treatment.
  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure, and the canals became recontaminated.
  • The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth, and the canals became recontaminated.
An example of a tooth with inflamed tissue
Inflamed Tissue
A visual of removing fillings from a tooth
Filling Removed
A representation of a tooth with its canals cleaned
Canals Cleaned
An illustration of new root filling material placed into a tooth's canals
Root Material Placed
An example of a tooth's filling restored by new root canal filling
Filling Restored
A representation of a fully healed tooth by new root canal filling placed
Healed Tooth

In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:

  • New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

Once retreatment has been selected as a solution to your problem, the doctors will reopen your tooth, much like conventional root canal therapy, to gain access to the root canal filling material. Once some restorative material has been removed, they will be able to have access to the root canal. The doctors will now remove the old root canal filling material, clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the doctors will re-fill the canals with new filling material thereby sealing the canals.  A new temporary filling will be placed.

At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.