Forest Lake Endodontics

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1420 Lake Street S. Suite 200a
Forest Lake, MN 55025
Practice Logo
1420 Lake Street S. Suite 200a
Forest Lake, MN 55025

When Does A Tooth Need Endodontic Retreatment?

February 12, 2024
When Does A Tooth Need Endodontic Retreatment?

The most common endodontic treatment is root canal therapy. This procedure can often save a tooth that is infected or at risk. In most cases a single root canal procedure is enough for a tooth. But in other cases endodontic retreatment may be necessary. 

When does a tooth need endodontic retreatment? Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms. 

What is Endodontic Retreatment? 

Endodontic retreatment is essentially a repeat root canal. When the first root canal is not effective at treating or preventing infection, endodontic retreatment may still be able to save the tooth. 

During a root canal the dental pulp (soft tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves) is removed from the inside of the tooth and filled with a natural rubber like material. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected before it is filled and covered with a crown. However , as time passes, sometimes the filler material begins to leak over time & needs to be resealed.

During endodontic retreatment, the filler material is removed and the tooth is more thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected to ensure that all of the old filler materials is removed & a deeper, tighter seal is replaced. Gentlewave may be used to ensure that even the tiniest areas are cleaned & ultrasonically disinfected.

Signs Your Tooth May Need Endodontic Retreatment.

The following signs and symptoms could indicate that your tooth needs to be retreated: 

  • Toothache. If a tooth that has already had a root canal starts to hurt, it may need endodontic retreatment. All of the nerves should have been removed during the first root canal, so if you feel any pain it indicates that the nerves in the gum or bone are inflamed / infected.
  • Sensitivity. If the tooth is sensitive to cold or heat it may be another indication that some of the nerves are remaining inside the tooth or another tooth may be involved.
  • Discoloration. Discoloration inside the tooth may indicate that there is some bleeding inside the tooth, which can only occur if there is still some dental pulp left. A tooth that has had a root canal should not have any bleeding. 
  • Swollen gums. Swelling of the gum tissue around a tooth is often an indication of an infection. If the first root canal was not effective, the tooth may have a recurring infection, or cyst.

What Causes a Tooth to Need Endodontic Retreatment?

A tooth may need endodontic retreatment due to the following causes: 

  • Incomplete root canal. If the first root canal was incomplete, meaning some dental pulp or infected tissue was left behind, the tooth may need retreatment. 
  • Complex root structure. A tooth with a complex root structure can be more difficult to treat the first time because it is difficult to reach every part of the root canal and get all of the pulp and infection out. This increases the chances that the tooth will need retreatment. However , Gentlewavecan improve outcomes
  • Loose crown. If the crown that is placed over the tooth following the first root canal is loose or does not fit properly, the tooth is susceptible to further infection and may need retreatment. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Endodontic Retreatment

Can endodontic retreatment save the natural tooth?

In many cases endodontic retreatment is successful at saving the natural tooth. Even if the first root canal was not effective or the tooth developed a second infection afterwards, endodontic retreatment still may be able to save it. Gentlewave increases the chance of success over traditional methods of disinfection.

Can the same crown be used after endodontic retreatment?

If your tooth has a crown over it after the first root canal, we can often drill a small hole through it to perform endodontic retreatment. The same crown will likely be saved, but in some cases a new crown will be needed. 

Why See an Endodontist for Retreatment?

An endodontist specializes in root canal therapy and endodontic retreatment. Forest Lake Endodontics has the advanced technology and experience necessary to provide endodontic retreatment that ensures the tooth is treated effectively. 
Call  651-464-9888  or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

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Forest Lake Endodontics
1420 Lake Street S. Suite 200a
Forest Lake, MN 55025
Tel: 651-464-9888 | Fax: 651-464-0090
Monday | 8am - 5pm
Tuesday | 8am - 5pm
Wednesday | 8am - 5pm
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Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

1420 Lake Street S. Suite 200a Forest Lake, MN 55025
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