Endodontic Retreatment

When properly cared for, teeth that have undergone endodontic treatment should last for almost as long as any other natural teeth. On occasion, a tooth will not respond well to treatment, and may fail to heal, or continue to be tender or painful

This failure to heal may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals left untreated during the initial treatment
  • Saliva contamination from inadequate or no dental dam on the first occasion of root canal therapy.
  • Too much time passing between the procedure and when the crown or restoration was placed, allowing recontamination of the canals.
  • The crown or temporary filling did not prevent saliva from reaching the inside of the tooth, causing recontamination.
  • Complex canals that were not detected in the initial treatment.
  • New decay, allowing contamination of the root canal filling material.
  • A damaged filling or crown, allowing contamination of the root canal material.

Retreatment will involve re-opening the tooth to reach the root canal filling material. This material will then be carefully removed to gain complete access to the root canal. Your endodontist will then clean the tooth’s canals carefully, examining the interior of the tooth for additional canals and any further problematic signs.  The cleaned tooth will then be resealed with a temporary filling placed to allow for re-access, should this procedure need to be repeated. Once the symptoms associated with the tooth have resolved the final root filling can be placed.

Teeth that need endodontic retreatment often have the symptoms of infection, abscesses, and pain.

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