Learn about Endodontic Retreatment

Endodontic Retreatment

What is it

Endodontic retreatment (i.e., root canal retreatment) is a procedure performed on a tooth that has improperly healed or has become infected following an initial root canal treatment.

When is it needed/Risks of not getting it done

Improper healing following an initial root canal treatment 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 onto the initially treated tooth within an appropriate amount of time.
  • The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the initially treated tooth.

In some cases, new problems may arise, even after a successful root canal treatment. For example:

  • New tooth decay can expose the composite filling material used in the initial root canal treatment, thereby causing infection.
  • Complicated canals that went undetected during the initial treatment.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.
How is it done
  1. Once the dentist/endodontist has recommended endodontic retreatment, they will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material.
  2. The filling material will be removed to enable access to the root canal(s).
  3. The dentist/endodontist will thoroughly clean the canal(s) and examine the inside of the problematic tooth.
  4. Lastly, the tooth’s canals will be carefully filled and sealed with composite filling material and a crown, composite filling, or other type of dental restoration will be placed to restore full structure and function to the tooth.