Root Canal Re-treatment

Root canal retreatment

Many root canal treatments last a lifetime if they’re properly cared for. Sometimes, even though the nerve is removed from a tooth, it doesn’t heal as expected. The discomfort that you feel long after you have had a root canal may be a signal that the tooth needs endodontic retreatment.

Indications for a retreatment:

  • Missed canal

  • Unusual anatomy or restricted canal

  • Infection from new decay or caused by a damaged crown or filling exposing the tooth to bacteria.

  • Crack or fracture in the tooth

Treatment Options:

It’s always best to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. The dentist will inspect the tooth and decide whether a retreatment is possible. In more complicated cases, endodontic surgery might be done in addition to the retreatment. If retreatment and surgery are not recommended, extraction is the final alternative.


A small hole will be made into the tooth to gain access to the root canal. Any materials placed inside will be removed. The canals will be cleaned and the dentist with the aid of special lighting and magnification, will look for extra canals, unusual anatomy, or infection that requires treatment.

After cleaning and shaping, the canal will be sealed and a temporary filling will be placed.


After Endodontic Retreatment:

  • Post-operative instructions should be followed

  • Longer recovery time if you undergo endodontic surgery

  • If any discomfort is present, pain medication could be prescribed

  • Avoid chewing hard food or ice with the treated tooth

  • Swelling and soreness should be gone within 2 weeks