With the appropriate care, teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Sometimes, a tooth that has been treated may fail to heal or the pain may persist, or the tooth can become reinfected. The pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, endodontic retreatment may be needed.

Improper healing may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals were not adequately treated during the initial treatment.
  • Complicated canals went undetected during the initial treatment.
  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure, leading to the leakage of saliva into the inside of the tooth. 

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

  • New decay can expose root canal filling material, causing a new infection.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

Once retreatment has been selected as a treatment, the endodontist 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. The doctor will now clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth. Once cleaned, the doctor will fill disinfect, fill, and then seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth. Once this has been completed, we will need to see you to place a permanent filling in the tooth. 


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