Root Canal Retreatment


Occasionally a tooth treated with a root canal may not heal as expected after treatment.


There can be variety of reasons a tooth may not fully heal, such as:

~ New decay in the tooth

~ A new fracture in the treated tooth

~ A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling

~ Narrow or curved canals not treated during the original procedure

~ Delayed placement of a permanent restoration following the original procedure

~ Previously undetected complex or narrow canal structures

~ Saliva entering the restoration contaminating the root canal filling


After your tooth has been evaluated and endodontic retreatment is deemed necessary, an appointment for treatment will be scheduled.  At that appointment, we will first numb the area then place a “dental dam” over the area to prevent saliva from entering the canal system.  We will then make a small hole in the existing restoration in order to gain access to the root canal system.  Any core filling or posts that are in place may need to be removed during the retreatment procedure.  Your dentist will replace these when you return for final restoration.  The existing root canal filling material will then be removed.  The tooth is then carefully recleaned and the canals are reshaped.  The tooth will also be carefully inspected using a microscope. We will then place a new root canal filling and place a temporary filling in the restoration.  Depending on the condition of the tooth, and the complexity of the case, this procedure may be completed in one or two appointments.


Following root canal retreatment, you will need to return to your general dentist who will either repair the existing restoration or replace it with a new one.  We recommend this take place 2 to 4 weeks following the procedure.