For most patients, root canals are successful and last a lifetime. In rare circumstances, a tooth that has had a root canal in the past will become infected or compromised again and require endodontic retreatment. This procedure gives you a second chance to save your natural tooth. Endodontic retreatment has a high rate of success, helping patients avoid needing to have a tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge or dental implant.
Why Endodontic Retreatment Is Needed
Some of the reasons you might require endodontic retreatment include:
- Your previously treated tooth heals improperly or becomes painful again after your initial root canal.
- Your treated tooth is reinfected due to new decay.
- The treated tooth has complicated canal anatomy that wasn’t detected or fully treated during your first treatment.
- Your restoration was not secure, causing salivary contamination.
- The dental crown or filling on the treated tooth becomes loose, cracked, or falls off.
- Your previously treated tooth fractures or breaks.
What Happens During Endodontic Retreatment
Like your initial root canal treatment, endodontic retreatment is performed to save your natural tooth, alleviate dental and facial pain, and promote healing.
The treatment begins by numbing the tooth and the tissue surrounding it with local anesthetic to ensure your comfort as we work. The tooth is opened, then the filling is removed and the canals are cleaned and disinfected. We will carefully examine your tooth using an endodontic microscope; in some cases, additional canals or complex anatomy may be found and require treatment. Once all of the canals are cleaned and shaped, new filling material is placed inside the tooth to prevent reinfection.