Endodontic Retreatment

As with any other dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as well as expected after the initial root canal treatment is not successful or in some cases a new problem can emerge from a tooth that was successfully treated in the past. If the initial root canal treatment is unsuccessful or if a successful root canal treatment fails your dentist can offer you the option to have the tooth retreated. Endodontic retreatment is usually performed by endodontists and simply involves redoing an existing failed root canal filling. The retreatment is started by creating a small access opening through an existing filling or cap. The old root filling/s are then identified, removed and the canals are cleaned and disinfected and the access opening is sealed with temporary restoration. Subsequently, and usually at a later appointment, the canals are accessed again, flushed and sealed with new root fillings and the access opening is permanently restored with an appropriate permanent restoration. Endodontic retreatment also enjoys high success rate and many teeth can be successfully retreated. Whenever possible, it is best to save your natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime. Advances in technology and our knowledge have enabled us to use new techniques and materials that were not available when the first root canal treatment was performed.

As with endodontic treatment, the retreated tooth needs to be reviewed between six to twelve months after the retreatment is completed to monitor the progress of healing. Some retreated teeth need very simple restoration to repair the access opening; others require new filling or cap depending on the condition of the tooth's existing restoration.