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Basically, root-canal-treated teeth can stay as long as non-root-canal-treated teeth – ideally for a lifetime. Because, however, root canal treatment is one of the most complex dental interventions it is possible that a root canal treatment does not produce the desired success in some cases.

In order to still retain the tooth in question it is possible to carry out root canal treatment again, performing a so-called retreatment. This can be necessary if:

  • Narrow or curved canals could not be sufficiently cleaned in the first session
  • Complicated anatomical structures of the root canal system could not be completely cleaned during the first treatment
  • The sealing filling or crown has become leaky and bacteria has once again got into the root canal system

The first steps of the treatment are carried out as in the first treatment:

The tooth is isolated using the dental dam, the cavities are found and the infected filling material within is removed. Then re-cleaning is carried out, which is often more difficult and time-consuming in a retreatment. Depending on the individual case, a medicine is perhaps inserted into the cleaned root-canal system until the following appointment. For the treatment, it can be necessary to remove an existing crown or bridge in order to reach the root-canal system.

Especially in the case of retreatments, it can be a good idea to use optical magnifying aids, such as e.g. magnifying spectacles or an operating microscope, in order to find all the cavities of the root canal system that have not been treated, or only insufficiently, and to remove old root filling material. The root canal system, with its main canals and side canals, and also the infected dental hard material are now cleaned, disinfected and newly shaped.

The cavity produced in this way is then filled with a plastic sealing material. Finally, the access to the root canal system is thoroughly sealed with a filling and the tooth crown is built up again.

You can find further information on this subject here