Whenever possible, it is best to save your natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime. As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial endodontic therapy (root canal treatment) for a variety of reasons. If healing is incomplete, placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed, or new decay has formed, you may need endodontic retreatment in order to save your tooth.
First, your endodontist will discuss your treatment options. If you and your endodontist choose retreatment, your endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material.
After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can disinfect 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.
Your endodontist will disinfect the canals, seal them, and place a temporary filling in the tooth. 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.