Even though modern endodontic therapy has a success rate of greater than 90 percent, on occasion, as with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth that has been treated with a root canal may not heal as expected. It may even become painful or diseased months or years following the initial treatment. An endodontic retreatment can give your tooth a second chance.
If your tooth is a candidate for retreatment, it is accomplished in the following manner:
- First, a local anesthetic numbs the tooth and surrounding tissue. Then the tooth is isolated from the oral cavity and saliva by a sheet of rubber called a dental dam.
- Your tooth is re-opened to gain access to the root canal filling material. Complex restorative materials, such as core materials and posts, must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.
- After removal of the root canal filling, the tooth is examined for cracks, additional canals, and/or unusual canal anatomy.
- The root canals are cleaned, shaped, and disinfected prior to the placement of the gutta-percha filling. A temporary filling is placed in the opening within the tooth.
- After the final visit for the retreatment, you will need to return to your general dentist for a new crown or other restoration. This will protect and restore the tooth to full function.
For more information about Endodontic Re-treatment, visit the American Association of Endodontists website.