With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment 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. If so, endodontic retreatment may be needed.

The tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

  • Curved or narrow canals that were not treated during the initial treatment.
  • Complicated canals that went undetected during the initial treatment.
  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.

The crown or restoration that did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.

Endodontic Retreatment 1

In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:

  • New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.

A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

Endodontic Retreatment 2


Once retreatment has been selected as the treatment option, Dr. Patel will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. The restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal.  Dr. Patel will now clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth using magnification and illumination for additional canals or unusual anatomy that needs to be addressed.  Once the canals are cleaned, they are filled and sealed with root canal filling material and a temporary filling is placed in the access opening of the tooth.  After the treatment is completed you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.

Endodontic Retreatment 3
Endodontic Retreatment 4
Endodontic Retreatment 5

It is very important for come back for a follow-up visit in 6 months to monitor the healing.

Endodontic Retreatment 6

The content was reproduced with permission from the American Association of Endodontists