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Teeth with previous endodontic treatment can last as long as natural, untreated teeth. Occasionally, the root canal space in a tooth treated by root canal therapy becomes re-infected, and requires retreatment. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment, or root canal retreatment, may be needed.

As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons. Improper healing may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals that were not treated during the initial treatment.

  • Complicated canal anatomy that went undetected in the initial treatment.

  • The crown or restoration was delayed following the initial procedure.

  • The crown or restoration that did not prevent saliva from contaminating the

       inside of the tooth.

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

  • New decay can expose a root canal filling material to bacteria, causing infection.

  • A cracked, loose, or broken filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

  • A tooth sustains a fracture.

During retreatment, we will reopen your tooth and remove the filling materials that were placed in the root canals during the first procedure, then carefully examine the tooth and look for additional canals or new infection. We specialize in fixing root canals that have failed, utilizing a surgical operating microscope that can allow us to visualize and treat complex root canal anatomy. After removing any infection, we clean and shape the canals, and place new filling materials then seal the opening with a temporary filling. Once the tooth heals, you will need to return to your primary dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.



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