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Endodontic Retreatment

With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment, root canal , 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. 

Root canal retreatment is a procedure used to clean the canals of a tooth that have already been subject to a root canal. Although most root canals are successful the first time, there are many reasons why a retreatment may be necessary.

For example, some patients may have hidden canals that were not identified in the initial procedures, whereas others may experience a new infection caused by a loose crown or damaged filling. In some cases, these complications can occur immediately following a root canal when pain continues to persist and the tooth fails to heal.

For other patients, complications can arise many years after an initial root canal. The goal of re-treatment is always the same as the initial root canal: Eliminate all bacteria from the inside of the tooth and seal it so that it is permanently protected from future infections.

Reasons Why A Tooth May Need Retreatment

  • Untreated narrow or curved canals

  • Ongoing bacteria growth in the canals and apex (tooth root end)

  • Over and under extension of the root canal filling

  • New decay exposes the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a second infection

  • Undetected complicated canal anatomy

  • Delayed placement of the crown or other restoration following endodontic treatment

  • A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling exposes the tooth to new infection

  • A tooth sustains a fracture

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