Root Canal Retreatment

The images below are helpful in illustrating how this procedure can help our patients. Click on a link below to access visual aids:

  • Endodontic Retreatment Root Canal Temporary – See Image
  • Endodontic Retreatment Root Canal Crown – See Image
With the appropriate care, teeth that have had endodontic treatment, such as root canal therapy, should last as long as other natural teeth.

However, there is always a slight possibility that a tooth that has received treatment could fail to heal properly, continue to cause pain months or years after treatment, or become reinfected due to new damage or tooth decay. In these cases, the experts at Northwest Endodontics might recommend endodontic retreatment. This procedure is often necessary to resolve an issue with a previously treated tooth and restore it to full functionality.

What Is Endodontic Retreatment?

Endodontic retreatment refers to the process of retreating a tooth that has previously undergone root canal therapy.

During endodontic retreatment, our endodontists access the root canal filling material and remove it to access the root canal. We then carefully examine the inside of the tooth and thoroughly clean the root canals. Once cleaned, we fill and seal the canals, placing a temporary, protective filling in the tooth.

Patients should then contact their restorative dentists (or referring dentists) as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for their permanent tooth restoration.

Types of Endodontic Retreatment

There are two types of endodontic retreatment that involve different methods of accessing the root canal for retreatment. These methods include surgical and non-surgical endodontic retreatment. While the vast majority of endodontic retreatments are non-surgical, the method of endodontic retreatment that is right for you depends on the severity of infection, diagnostic images, and your individual case.

Non-Surgical Endodontic Retreatment

In non-surgical endodontic retreatment, our endodontists access the root canal using the same method used during root canal therapy, removing any tooth restorations and drilling into the tooth.

Surgical Endodontic Retreatment

During surgical endodontic retreatment (also called root canal surgery), endodontists access the root canal of a tooth by making a small incision in the gum tissue just beside the area to be treated. This allows the endodontist to access the root canal without compromising the natural tooth’s structure and at an angle that simplifies the access of hard-to-reach root canals.

Why a Tooth Might Need Endodontic Retreatment

A previously treated tooth might require endodontic retreatment due to improper healing or new problems that have developed since the time of treatment.

A treated tooth might heal improperly as a result of:

  • 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 that was not placed within the appropriate amount of time after the procedure
  • A compromised crown or restoration that did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth

New problems that can compromise a previously treated tooth include:

  • New decay that exposes the root canal filling material, leading to an infection
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown that exposes the tooth, leading to an infection

Comprehensive Endodontic Care at Northwest Endodontics

At Northwest Endodontics, we work closely with referring dentists and use the latest in treatment tools, technology, and methods to provide our patients with superior endodontic care that yields optimal treatment results.

If you are a new or existing patient and require root canal therapy or endodontic retreatment, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an endodontic treatment consultation with one of our experienced endodontists.