With proper care, a tooth that has had a root canal treatment can and often does last a lifetime. However, even a tooth that has been treated property can sometimes experience problems months or even years after treatment. When a previously treated tooth is causing you pain or discomfort, you may need a root canal retreatment.
This can occur for a number or reasons, including narrow or curved canals that were not treated during the initial procedure, delayed placement of the crown, salivary contamination or a complicated anatomy that was not detected in the first procedure. New decay or injuries to a previously treated tooth may also be a cause for needing a retreatment.
During a retreatment, the endodontist reopens the tooth and removes the filling material that was placed during the first treatment. He then removes any infection, cleans and shapes the canals and places new filling material. The opening will then be sealed with a temporary filling. A new crown or other restoration will then be placed on the tooth to protect it.