Endodontic Retreatment

Endodontic Retreatment

Root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment, can be used to repair and save a severely damaged or infected tooth. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, and involves removing the tooth pulp (blood vessels and nerves), cleaning and disinfecting the resulting void, and filling it with dental material. The restored tooth can then be covered and strengthened with a tooth crown.

The American Association of Endodontics (AAE) claims that root canal therapy should last a lifetime with proper care. But occasionally, the repaired tooth may not heal as expected, causing you to experience pain, sensitivity, and other symptoms in the affected tooth again, months or even years after treatment. Depending on the cause of the symptoms, your dentist may recommend endodontic retreatment to save the tooth again.

Some of the circumstances under which your dentist may recommend endodontic retreatment include:

  • Failed initial therapy due to narrow and complex canals - that enclose the blood vessels and nerves - such that they were undetected or unresponsive to treatment the first time
  • Recontaminated canals - due to ineffective or delayed crown placement, advancing gum disease, new tooth decay, or a tooth crack or fracture

What to expect during retreatment

When the initial root canal fails, your endodontist will first evaluate your tooth to determine your treatment options, which may include tooth extraction (and subsequent replacement), endodontic retreatment, or endodontic surgery.

If you’re a suitable candidate for endodontic retreatment, then the procedure will be performed under anesthesia to numb the area. The endodontist will remove any restorations (crown) in order to access and remove the root canal filling. This process involves making a small opening to access the inner part of the tooth.

The filling material and other obstructions will then be removed, and the pulp chambers thoroughly cleaned using tiny instruments. The dentist will use a microscope and light to search for any other canals, unusual spaces, or infections for cleaning and disinfecting. If the canals are impassable, endodontic surgery may be necessary to seal a section of the root tip.

Afterwards, new filling material will be placed, followed by a crown to protect and strengthen the tooth. Please keep in mind that every situation is different, so you should follow the post-procedure directions given by your endodontist for your specific case. With proper care, your restored tooth should last a lifetime.

If you have any questions about the endodontic retreatment services we offer, or to set up an appointment, call us today @ 818-716-0297 – or simply fill out the CONTACT US FORM online.