Endodontic Retreatment

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

Improper healing may be caused by:

  • A  canal that went untreated in the initial root canal, which may be due to calcification or the canal being curved or narrow.
  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
  • The crown or restoration is not properly sealed and therefore is not preventing  saliva from contaminating the inside of the 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 endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The endodontist will now clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the endodontist will fill and seal the canals and place a permanent filling, unless otherwise instructed by your general dentist. If the endodontist places a temporary filling in your tooth, you will need to return to your general dentist’s office as soon as possible to have a permanent restoration placed on the tooth in order to restore it full functionality.


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A digital illustration of a tooth with inflamed tissue
Inflamed Tissue
A digital illustration of fillings being removed from a tooth
Filling Removed
A digital illustration of a tooth with its canals cleaned
Canals Cleaned
A digital illustration of new root filling material placed into a tooth's canals
Root Material Placed
A digital illustration of a tooth restored by a new root canal filling
Filling Restored
A digital illustration of a fully healed tooth after placing a new root canal filling
Healed Tooth