Endodontic Retreatment

cross section image of a failed root canalWith the appropriate care, endodontically treated teeth will last as long as your natural teeth, however, a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue. Sometimes, the pain can occur months or years after treatment, at which time 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.
  • The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.

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

cross section image of tooth Endodontic retreatment

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

When retreatment is deemed to be necessary, the endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filing material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The endodontist will then clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, your tooth will be filled and sealed, and a temporary filling will be placed.

image of healed tooth with a new crownOnce your retreatment is complete, you will need to return to your dentist to have a new crown or proper restoration placed on the tooth in order to restore full functionality. Delay in permanent restoration of endodontically treated teeth may result in treatment failure and loss of the tooth.