Most times, with a regular dental care routine; teeth that have had root canal treatment last as long as other teeth. Root canal treatments are performed by trained specialists called endodontists. Occasionally, you could have a case where a tooth that has had root canal begins to show signs of infection or starts to pain. This can happen even months or years after the successful completion of root canal.

In such cases, retreatment is required.

Why do some teeth need retreatment?

This could be due to a variety of causes such as:

  • The canal structure went undetected during the first root canal procedure
  • The canal was too narrow or curved to undergo successful removal of infection
  • Delay in installation of a crown following a root canal treatment
  • The restoration ended up causing contamination to salivary glands on the inside of the infected tooth
  • Due to subsequent treatments or new problems, a successfully treated tooth again developed infection

Other reasons could include cracked crowns or fillings attracting new infection. An accident could crack the treated tooth exposing it to the risk of infection again.

What does the retreatment procedure involve?

During the first visit, the endodontist will make a careful examination of your tooth and take x-rays to view the infected area. He will then discuss treatment options with you. If you opt for retreatment, then another appointment will be scheduled for the actual procedure

After administering local anesthetic, the endodontist will now set about disassembling and then removing restorative materials such as crown and post to expose the infected root

Once the canal is clean, the endodontist will use his microscope to view the area for additional canals that require attention or any other abnormal structure that seems to have developed

Once the canals have been cleaned up, he will now seal the canals with temporary filling. In some cases, he may decide to leave a post space.

To complete the retreatment procedure, you will need to return to get the tooth protected with a crown or other restorations.

In the event that the endodontist discovers that your canals are unusually blocked or too narrow, you may have to undergo endodontic surgery.