Endodontic Retreatment


With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, a small percentage of teeth that have received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue to exist. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed.

Improper healing may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals were not treated 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.
  • New decay (aka recurrent caries) or leakage around a crown or restoration that allowed for recontamination of the root canal system.

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 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 will now remove the previous root canal filling material, clean your canals, and carefully examine the inside of the tooth.  Once cleansed and thoroughly disinfected, usually an antibacterial paste will be placed within the tooth for 2 weeks under a temporary filling.  When you return your endodontist will replace the antibacterial paste with a root canal filling material and again 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.

How much will it cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic retreatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.