Root Canal Retreatment

When Do You Need a Root Canal Retreatment?

root-canalRoot canal treatment is a standard dental procedure performed by thousands of dentists all over the world. However, there is always a risk of failure, although very minimal. In the rare event that your root canal treatment fails to heal properly, develops a new decay, or a canal was missed during the initial procedure, you will need root canal retreatment.

How Do I Know If I Need Retreatment?

You will possibly need retreatment if:

  • Your newly treated tooth does not heal after a month.
  • You experience extreme pain in the treated tooth.
  • The gums underneath the treated tooth are swollen and/or bleeding.
  • There is visible decay or infection around the restoration of the tooth.

These signs and symptoms may appear within weeks, months, or even years after the root canal treatment has been performed, and they may be caused by different factors, including:

  • Direct blunt force trauma to the tooth
  • Untreated decay due to blocked or curved canals
  • Undetected decay due to lack of X-ray imaging
  • Delayed placement of restorative crown on treated tooth
  • Inadequate gutta percha filling that allowed entry of bacteria
  • Development of new decay in the tooth roots
  • Exposure of root canals due to poorly placed restorations or filling material
  • Fractured or lost restorative crown

In the event that you experience any of these, give us a call at (856) 942-1738 and we will schedule your appointment for evaluation as soon as possible.

Root Canal Retreatment Procedure

During root canal retreatment, you will undergo the following steps.

Step 1: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

Our endodontists will first check the tooth and see if retreatment is a good solution. If other options are viable, our endodontists will discuss these with you so that you are aware of all the possible procedures. If retreatment is the best choice, our endodontist will plan how to treat the tooth with minimal invasiveness.

Step 2: Reopening of Tooth

The tooth will need to be opened again to expose all of the infected parts. The restoration will be disassembled and the infected root canal filling will be removed.

Step 3: Close Examination and Cleaning

Once open, the canals will be examined using magnifying lenses. This will allow our dentists to see how deep the infection is and how much cleaning is needed. After thorough cleaning and disinfection, the canals will be checked again to ensure that no trace of infection is left.

Step 4: Sealing and Filling

The newly cleaned canals will be filled with gutta percha again and the remaining tooth material will be filled with composite resin. The mold for the restorative crown, if necessary, will also be taken once the tooth is filled so that it can be fabricated using our CEREC 3D system. This system allows same-day fabrication of dental crowns and ceramic restorations.

Step 5: Restoration

Once the dental crown is finished, our dentists will install the new crown and inspect the restored tooth. If any signs of exposure or gaps between the restorations are found, further treatment and sealing will be applied.

Are There Root Canal Retreatment Alternatives?

If root canal retreatment is not advisable or the tooth damage is too extensive, the following treatment options may be considered.

Endodontic Surgery

When the root canals are crooked or blocked, it can be difficult to completely clean them out. This calls for endodontic surgery. The surgical procedure involves an incision into the gums to expose the tooth roots and allow optimal cleaning and disinfection. In some cases, endodontic surgery may be done in addition to root canal retreatment to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.

Tooth Extraction

If the tooth can no longer survive even with surgery, it will need to be extracted. This is usually the last resort when treating infected roots. In such cases, the missing tooth may be replaced with restorative prosthetics such as bridges or dental implants.

How to Get Root Canal Retreatment in South Jersey

A certified dental professional should be the one to make a diagnosis and decision to perform root canal retreatment. However, if you experience any symptoms of root canal reinfection, call us right away at (856) 942-1738 or make an appointment for a consultation. Our dentists at the Dental Arts of South Jersey will examine your root canal and determine if retreatment is necessary.

If the tooth still has a strong anchor to the gums, retreatment will be recommended. Our expert dentists in South Jersey are highly skilled in performing endodontic procedures and will ensure that your retreated tooth will remain healthy and delaying the need for extraction.

Don’t ignore the signs of root canal reinfection. Call us as soon as you suspect something is wrong with your root canaled tooth and we will set up an appointment with one of our dentists. You will have a higher chance of salvaging your tooth if you receive immediate treatment.


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Dental Arts of South Jersey
1001 Laurel Oak Road, Suite C1
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Phone: (856) 942-1738

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