Root Canal Retreatment


What Is It?


With proper care, even teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime. But sometimes, a tooth that has been treated doesn't heal properly and can become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. If your tooth failed to heal or develops new problems, you have a second chance. An additional procedure may be able to support healing and save your tooth. If you have pain or discomfort in a previously treated tooth, don't hesitate to talk to us about retreatment.


Why do I need another endodontic procedure?


As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:


  • Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure. 

  • Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.

  • The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.

  • The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.


In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:


  • New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth. 

  • A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.

  • A tooth sustains a fracture.

During retreatment, the endodontist will reopen your tooth and remove the filling materials that were placed in the root canals during the first procedure. The endodontist then carefully examines the tooth, looking for additional canals or new infection. The endodontist then removes any infection, cleans and shapes the canals, and places new filling materials. The opening is then sealed with a temporary filling. Once the tooth heals, a new crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect it.

What will happen during retreatment?  


First, we will discuss your treatment options. If you and Dr. Shroyer choose retreatment, we will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. 


After removing the canal filling, we can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth using magnification and illumination, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment. 


After cleaning the canals, wet will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth. After completion of the retreatment, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to its full function.