With proper care, you’ll keep a tooth that’s had a root canal treatment for a lifetime. However, it is possible that the tooth heals improperly, becoming painful or diseased months, and sometimes years after treatment. If this happens to your treated tooth, your endodontist may recommend Endodontic Retreatment. This procedure may be able to diminish dental pain or discomfort and promote healing.


A tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

  • Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.
  • Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.
  • The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.
  • The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.

In some cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was previously treated and your endodontist may recommend retreatment. This includes:

  • New decay that exposes the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth.
  • A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling being that exposes the tooth to a new infection.
  • A tooth sustains a fracture.


Your endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. In many cases, complex restorative materials—crown, post, and core material—must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals. After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth using magnification and illumination, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment. After cleaning the canals, the endodontist will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth. If the canals are unusually narrow or blocked, your endodontist may recommend endodontic microsurgery. This surgery involves making a small incision to allow the other end of the root to be sealed. After your endodontist completes retreatment, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to its full function.


It is important that you receive the best endodontic retreatment in Virginia. Our goal is to ensure your safety and comfort throughout every appointment. Contact us today to learn more!