Endodontic Retreatment

With appropriate care, a tooth that has had root canal treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. However, it’s possible that a treated tooth may fail to heal properly and become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. In these cases, an additional procedure — endodontic retreatment — may be needed to support healing and save your tooth.
diagram of absessed tooth

Improper healing may can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Curved or narrow canals that were not treated during the initial treatment
  • Complicated canals that were not detected during the first treatment
  • A delayed placement of the crown/restoration following treatment
  • A restoration that failed to prevent salivary contamination inside of the tooth
Infected tooth diagram
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 loose, cracked or broken crown or filling that has exposed the tooth to new infection
  • A tooth sustains a fracture

Retreatment Explained

For more information please view this video produced by the American Association of Endodontists

Endodontic Retreatment FAQs

Is endodontic retreatment the best option for me?

Saving your natural tooth is always the best choice when possible. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime.

Technology advances are constantly improving the way root canal treatment/retreatment is performed. New techniques that now exist may not have been available when you had your first procedure.

There are no guarantees, as is the case with any dental or medical procedure. Dr. Concepcion will discuss your choices and the chances of success before beginning retreatment.

What are the alternatives to retreatment?

When retreatment is not possible, endodontic surgery should be considered. This surgery, known as an apicoectomy, entails making an incision in the gums to gain access to the tip of the root. Endodontic surgery may be recommended in conjunction with retreatment or as an alternative. Dr. Concepcion will discuss your options and recommend the appropriate treatment.

What are the alternatives to endodontic retreatment and/or endodontic surgery?

Tooth extraction is the only other alternative. An extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent neighboring teeth from shifting. These options entail extensive surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth and can be far more expensive and time-consuming than retreatment and restoration of a natural tooth.

Regardless of how effective tooth replacements are—nothing is as good as your own natural tooth.

How much does a retreatment cost?

The complexity of the procedure will influence the cost. The procedure will most likely be more complicated than your first root canal treatment, because your restoration and filling material may need to be removed to do the new procedure. Also, Dr. Concepcion may need to devote extra time searching for unusual canal anatomy. So, you can generally expect retreatment to cost more than the initial endodontic treatment.

Dr. Concepcion and her team will discuss the fees with you at the time of your appointment. Please contact your insurance company prior to retreatment to be sure of your coverage. While dental insurance may cover part or all of the cost for retreatment, some policies limit coverage to a single procedure on a tooth in a given period of time.

At Advanced Endodontics, Dr. Concepcion is in-network with several insurance providers. Please call to inquire if your insurance plan is accepted at our office. If your plan is out-of-network, we are always happy to file a claim to your insurance provider for you. We will always work with you to determine your estimated cost for treatment so you can be prepared.

Please visit our Financial Options to learn more about what insurance plans and other healthcare financing options we accept.

Maria Concepcion, D.M.D

250 W. Lancaster Ave.
Paoli, PA 19301

Office Hours

Monday:8am - 5pm
Tuesday:8am - 5pm
Wednesday:8am - 5pm
Thursday:8am - 5pm
Friday:8am - 5pm

Contact Us!

Phone:   610.644.8899

Phone:   610.644.8899

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