Root Canal Retreatment

In rare cases, root canal therapy fails to work as expected. The treated tooth might not heal properly and may become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. If your tooth was unable to heal or other issues develop, a retreatment of the initial root canal treatment is possible. An additional procedure may be able to support healing and save your tooth. If you have pain or discomfort in a previously treated tooth, call us at 503-339-0019 to inquire about a retreatment.

Why do I need another endodontic procedure?

Though the prospect of more endodontic surgery might not be pleasant, root canal retreatment is fairly simple. In general, the whole treatment can be completed in 1-3 visits.

As occasionally happens with any dental procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a couple of reasons:

  • Canals may have been left untreated during the original procedure.
  • Leakage under the crown margin or through filling material
  • Delay in placement of crown or restoration following the procedure.
  • Leakage of saliva through the temporary restoration

On rare occasion, a new problem can negatively affect a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:

  • Recurrent decay
  • A faulty crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.
  • The tooth has a vertical root fracture.

To get started on the root canal retreatment the affected tooth is isolated with a rubber dam. The dam protects the tooth during treatment from bacteria and saliva. The first step in a root canal retreatment is to gain access to the inner tooth. Next, filling material and obstructions that block the root canals will be removed. The endodontist then carefully examines the tooth, looking for additional canals or new infection.  An X-ray may be taken to confirm that the roots are thoroughly clean. If the roots are infected and drain through the canal a liquid medication may be needed to dry the canals and kill any bacteria that may remain. The rest of the procedure will be done at the next visit (roughly three weeks)

Source: American Association of Endodontists