Routine endodontic treatment has a very high success rate and with proper care, these teeth can last as long as other natural teeth. It is, however, possible that a tooth that has received treatment may have a difficult time healing completely, or pain may continue. In a small percentage of cases the initial infection heals but the tooth later becomes reinfected, and pain may not occur until months or years after. In this case, endodontic retreatment may be needed. Some indications for retreatment include undetected canals; a new problem such as leakage, recurrent decay or fracture; oddly shaped canals; and difficult anatomy.
Endodontic Retreatment: What to Expect
To perform endodontic retreatment we first numb the tooth with local anesthesia. We then reopen the tooth and access the root canal filling material. The canals are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and we carefully examine the tooth under magnification. The disinfected canals are filled and sealed, and a temporary filling is placed in the tooth. You will then be asked to call your dentist for an appointment within a couple of weeks to start restoring the tooth. Just as with traditional RCT, post op discomfort after retreatment is usually controlled with over the counter medications, and sometimes antibiotics are prescribed.