Endodontic Retreatment

Even though endodontic treatment is one of the most successful and predictable procedures in modern dentistry, failures can occur.

Some indications of failure include swelling, soreness, or the persistence of abscess at the root tip as identified in an x-ray. When this happens, a root canal revision procedure, also referred to as "retreatment" may be warranted.

Retreatment is a nonsurgical approach. It basically consists of redoing the root canal and is a second chance on maintaining the tooth.

Once retreatment has been selected as a solution to your problem, the doctors will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material.

This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal.

The doctors then clean your canals and carefully examine the inside of the problematic tooth.

Once cleaned, the doctors will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth.

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.

Reasons for Root Canal '' Retreatment "

  • Incomplete Cleaning and Sealing.
  • Retained microorganisms (bacteria) in the root canal.
  • Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.
  • Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.
  • The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.
  • New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth.
  • A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection
  • Inoperable canals because of calcification or unusual anatomy.
  • Sometimes tissues fail to heal for unknown reasons.
  • A tooth sustains a fracture.

Do I really need a Root Canal Retreatment?

Root Canal retreatment is needed when the initial root canal treatment was unable to remove all the substances that may cause infection. The factors that help us determine if the tooth needs a retreatment are:
•  Initial root canal treatment was not sufficient and can be improved greatly with newer techniques.
•  There is dark area around the root tip, indicating an abscess that may become a problem in the future.
•  Swelling of gum, originating from the acute infection from the root canalled tooth.

However not all swellings or root infectious can be treated by root canal retreatment. Under the following conditions, retreatment is not recommended:

  1. Fracture in the root.
  2. Abscess becomes too big and difficult to treat.
  3. Root may risk great damage due to retreatment procedures.