Endodontic Retreatment

Why does my tooth need retreatment?

If you have a tooth that has had endodontic (root canal) treatment, it can last as long as your other natural teeth. In some cases, however, complete healing may not occur or there may be new problems months or even years after the initial treatment. When this happens, it is sometimes possible for your endodontist to perform the treatment again with more successful results. This process is called retreatment.

  • Curved or narrow canals were not 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.
  • The crown or restoration 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, causing infection.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

Who performs endodontic retreatment?

All dentists receive some training in endodontic treatment. Retreatment, however, can be more challenging than the initial treatment. For this reason, many dentists refer their patients in need of retreatment to an endodontic specialist. Endodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat oral and facial pain. They specialize in endodontic (root canal) treatment, including any treatment for the soft inner tissues of the tooth, the pulp. In addition to dental school, endodontists receive another two or more years of advanced education. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, including the area of retreatment.

What happens during endodontic retreatment?

At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.

Is retreatment the best treatment option for me?

The decision to retreat should be made by you, your dentist and your endodontist. While retreated teeth can last a lifetime, there is no guarantee that treatment will be more successful the second time. The treatment option for any particular patient must be chosen on an individual basis.

How much will retreatment cost?

The cost of retreatment varies depending on the complexity of the procedure. It will probably cost more than the initial procedure, because your restoration and root filling materials must be removed before the second treatment can begin. Also, your endodontist may need to spend more time searching for problems that may have caused the initial treatment to fail.

The only alternatives to retreatment are having the tooth extracted or having it retreated surgically, if the root cannot be accessed through the crown. If the tooth is extracted, it must be replaced with a bridge, implant or removable partial denture. This will restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Generally, nonsurgical retreatment and restoration of your natural tooth is the least expensive option. Your dentist will be happy to discuss the various treatment options and their costs with you.

Endodontic Associates

5 out of 5 stars based on 3 Endodontic Retreatment reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had a unique and very scary situation, which was handled very professionally by the experts at your facility. Right before the COVID-19 shutdown of all "non-essential" businesses, I had a routine visit with my regular dentist. It was discovered that I had infected pockets below a tooth that had previously undergone a root canal. I want to start by saying that I am very grateful that Endodontic Associates remained open to treat emergencies. I have a heart condition and couldn't afford to wait, with bacteria sitting in my gums, for another endodontist place to open back up once "stay-at-home" orders were lifted. So, a huge "thank you" to you front line workers in the medical profession for helping me. You were able to schedule my procedure in a timely fashion, relieving great anxiety I had. As for the procedure itself, I want to say that Dr. Lindell did an outstanding job fixing the problem I had. He was very thorough in his work, re-treating the root canal. He was very knowledgeable during the consultation I had with him prior to the procedure, explaining the reasons he wanted to do what he did, to fix the problem for the long term and not just a quick fix. Both during the procedure and afterward, there was very little discomfort in the tooth and gum area. No discomfort whatsoever during the procedure. I was very pleased that it was done with so little pain. So, overall, a huge thank-you to all of you amazing dental professionals, and to Dr. Lindell specifically, who treated me. You did a top-rate job.

- Philip G. G

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Dr. Mark and staff, in the Commerce office, where the best! Thank you!

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