What is Endodontic Retreatment?

March 1, 2024

So, you’ve undergone root canal treatment and your tooth is still hurting, what’s going on?

It’s rare, but every once and awhile a root infection can throw us a curveball—or a curved root—and the infection will not properly heal. In this case, we have to re-treat the tooth.

At James A. Penney III, DDS, PA Endodontics, our job isn’t done until your tooth is restored to it’s fully- functioning natural state. If you are still in pain after endodontic therapy, make sure we know.

Here are a few things you should know about endodontic retreatment.

Why didn’t my root canal treatment heal properly?

There are a few reasons why the treatment didn’t return your tooth back to health.

  • Canals were unexpectedly narrow or curved. Usually we know exactly what the roots of your tooth look like from advanced x-ray imaging. Sometimes a root canal is missed during the treatment because it is too narrow or curved. This can prevent proper healing
  • For this same reason, canals can be missed. Every tooth is unique. An infection can fail to heal if a hidden canal remains undetected during the treatment.
  • Your tooth might fail to heal if the protective crown is not placed over your tooth in time. When we perform a root canal, we place a temporary cover over your tooth until you can visit a restorative dentist and have a stronger crown placed on your tooth. If you wait too long, it can cause the root canal treatment to heal improperly.
  • Improper healing can also be caused if the permanent crown is not correctly placed over the root canal treatment. This is why we have several recommended restorative dentists for our patients.

How does endodontic retreatment work?

An endodontic retreatment procedure works almost the same as the original endodontic therapy.

First we remove the filling covering the original drilling. Once again, we clean out the canals in the roots of your tooth. In the case that your improper healing is caused by undetected canals, we would use this opportunity to clean those canals we are now aware of.

After the cleaning is done we fill the canal with a new root filling material. A filling is placed over the drilling area, just like in the original procedure.

Does endodontic retreatment work?

We only perform endodontic retreatment when we are certain that improper healing can be cured by the procedure.

The world of endodontics is all about finding the right solution for your tooth. We have advanced x-ray imaging technology and microscopic tools to make sure we understand what is causing your tooth to cause you pain.