Endodontic Retreatment

With the appropriate care, a tooth that has had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. However, sometimes a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue. This can occur months or even years after treatment. Endodontic failure may also occur even if you don’t experience consistent pain. In this case, a full consultation including 3-D imaging is needed to diagnose endodontic failure. If it is found, your endodontist may recommend retreatment.

Endodontic failure 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
  • A crown or restoration placed too late following the procedure
  • New decay that exposes the root canal filling material
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown
An example of a tooth with inflamed tissue
Inflamed Tissue
A visual of removing fillings from a tooth
Filling Removed
A representation of a tooth with its canals cleaned
Canals Cleaned
An illustration of new root filling material placed into a tooth's canals
Root Material Placed
An example of a tooth's filling restored by new root canal filling
Filling Restored
A representation of a fully healed tooth by new root canal filling placed
Healed Tooth

If retreatment has been selected as your treatment option, your 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. Endodontic retreatment success often hinges on being able to successfully remove the previous material in its entirety.

Your endodontist will clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the canals are filled and sealed the canals and a temporary filling is placed in the tooth. You will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.