Conservative Endodontic Retreatment

Occasionally, conservative endodontic retreatment may be required when the initial endodontic therapy has failed to result in complete healing.  The initial endodontic therapy may have been performed years prior without the aid of modern endodontic armamentarium (i.e. microscopy, sonics,  ultrasonics, etc.), and specialty training. A tooth which has failed to heal after initial endodontic therapy may be best treated with conservative endodontic retreatment, rather than surgical endodontic treatment.   

Improper healing may be caused by:

  • Canals that were not fully cleaned and disinfected during the initial treatment.
  • Complicated canals went undetected during the initial treatment.
  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
  • The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.

In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:

  • New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

Once retreatment has been selected as a solution to your problem, the endodontist 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 endodontist will examine the inside of the tooth with a microscope then clean, disinfect and seal the canals.  

At this point, you may need to return to your restorative dentist in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.