Root Canal Retreatment By Charles D. Kirksey, DDS on February 18, 2023

root canal treatmentPeople are often unhappy to hear that they need root canal treatment, so finding out that root canal retreatment is necessary can be understandably upsetting. While most root canal treatments eliminate infection and restore oral health, some are unsuccessful. A root canal treatment may fail because the patient never heals properly or because further complications develop.

Root canal retreatment at Fairfax Family Dental Care, in Fairfax, VA, addresses issues from a previous root canal therapy. This procedure allows our dentists to thoroughly clean and restore a tooth so that patients can perform oral functions with comfort and ease.

Signs You May Need Root Canal Retreatment

Root canal treatment may cause minor side effects, such as soreness and mild inflammation around the treatment site. However, any treatment side effects should be short-lived. If symptoms persist for more than a week after treatment it may indicate that the tooth has not healed or that complications have developed. It is important to report any signs of complications to our dentist so that we can assess if root canal retreatment is necessary.

Some potential signs that a patient requires root canal retreatment include:

  • Persistent pain in the treated tooth
  • An abscess or swelling along the gumline near the treated tooth
  • Visible damage to the tooth or dental crown (crack, fracture, etc.)

The Root Canal Retreatment Procedure

Root canal retreatment does not differ much from an initial root canal procedure. The main difference is that the dental packing and dental crown that was placed during the original root canal needs to be removed so that the tooth can be recleaned. During retreatment, the canals of the tooth’s roots are cleaned to eliminate infection-causing bacteria. The dentist performs a thorough cleaning to ensure that any tight areas within the root canals are addressed and any canals that may have been missed during the first procedure are cleaned.

After our dentists are confident that the tooth has been cleaned properly it is packed with new filling material. To finalize root canal retreatment a dental crown needs to be placed. The dental crown seals the tooth to block out bacteria and prevent reinfection.

Is Root Canal Retreatment Painful?

Pain is one of the most common concerns our Fairfax patients have regarding root canal retreatment. Fortunately, as with an initial root canal procedure, root canal retreatment should not be painful. A local anesthetic is used to completely numb the tooth and surrounding tissues so that patients can undergo treatment in complete comfort.

Benefits of Root Canal Retreatment 

When performing a root canal the goal is always to eliminate infection so that further treatment is not necessary. While root canal retreatment is not the desired outcome, it can be beneficial to patients with a lingering infection or reinfection. Root canal retreatment:

  • Stops infection before it spreads to other teeth
  • Alleviates oral pain
  • Restores oral functions
  • Preserves the natural tooth and prevents the need for extraction

Contact Fairfax Family Dental

If you have undergone root canal treatment and suspect that your tooth is still infected, it is important to discuss your concerns with a member of our dental team as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment at Fairfax Family Dental, contact our practice online or call (703) 385-0303.

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The Fairfax Family Dental Care office building.

Fairfax Family Dental Care

Our team of compassionate dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology for every procedure we offer. As the premier emergency dentists in Fairfax, we are here to offer relief at any time of day or night, seven days a week. Our dentists are affiliated with professional associations including:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • Virginia Dental Association

To schedule an appointment or receive immediate dental care, call: (703) 385-0303 or contact us online.

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