Endodontic Retreatment

With the appropriate care, your 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 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:

  • Curved or narrow canals were not treated during the initial treatment.
  • Complicated canals 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:

  • 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.

What will happen during retreatment?

1. The endodontist will administer local anesthetic, place the rubber dam and gain access to the root filling material. This may include drilling a hole through an existing crown or perhaps having to disassemble the crown.

2. Once the endodontist has access to the root filling material that material is removed from the canal spaces.

3. After removing the root canal filling, the endodontist will clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of the tooth using magnification and illumination.

4. After cleaning the canals, the endodontist will fill the canals with gutta-percha and adhesive cement. A temporary filling is placed either in the hole of the crown or in the tooth if the crown was removed during treatment. If the canals were unusually narrow or blocked your endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery.

5. After the endodontist completes the retreatment, you must return to your dentist as soon as possible to have either a new crown made or a permanent restoration placed in the tooth.