Root Canal Retreatment

Generally, teeth which have undergone endodontic treatment will provide you with years
of service.  Most often, these teeth will last as long as other natural teeth. However, an
endodontically treated tooth may fail to heal and cause pain months or years after
successful treatment. Retreatment of a tooth with past root canal therapy initially
involves the removal of the existing canal filling material.  Then, the entire root canal
system is cleaned and disinfected. Your endodontist will be simultaneously searching
for additional canals or unusual root canal anatomy which likely necessitated the

There are a number of reasons for improper healing after root canal therapy.
Occasionally, a tooth possesses a complicated root canal anatomy and these variations
were undetected during the initial root canal treatment. Excessively curved or narrow
canals can also pose an extreme clinical challenge for complete disinfection during the
initial root canal treatment. Contamination by saliva and decay (bacteria) of the treated
root canal system can also occur months or years after successful endodontic therapy.

Lastly, the species of bacteria contributing to a dental infection and the patient's
inherent ability to heal properly after root canal therapy have a large impact on the
success rate of root canal treatment.  Every patient's tooth and dental condition are
unique. Prior to initiating root canal retreatment, your endodontist will discuss the
probability of success for the procedure. Considerations of other treatments will also be
discussed including root canal surgery (apicoectomy) as well as extraction.

For further information regarding root canal retreatment, click
                 ADAM COLOMBO, DDS, PA
                                                        A SPECIALTY MICRO-ENDODONTIC PRACTICE
7301 Mission Road
Building A, Suite 317
Prairie Village, KS  66208