RCT Re-treatment

When would root canal re-treatment be necessary?


With appropriate care, a tooth that has had root canal treatment can last a lifetime. In fact, root canal treatment enjoys a success rate between 85% and 97%. However, there are cases where a tooth that has received root canal treatment may fail to properly heal or an infection re-occurs. In those cases, a RCT re-treatment may be necessary.

Why would a root canal treatment fail?

The most common reason why a root canal treatment fails is when the patient does not take proper care, including brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings and check-ups. Just like any other tooth, the tooth that has had a root canal requires excellent oral hygiene in order to preserve its long term health.

Additional reasons why an initial root canal treatment may fail include:

  • New decay that can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown that can expose the tooth to a new infection.

What does RCT re-treatment involve?

The procedure for RCT retreatment is virtually the same as the initial root canal treatment. Your endodontist will re-open your tooth to gain access to the root canal filing material, and the restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The physician will then clean the canal and carefully examine the inside of the tooth. After cleaning, the canal will be filled, sealed and a temporary filling will be placed in the tooth. Finally, you’ll return to your restorative dentist to have a new crown placed on the tooth in order to restore full function.

Are there alternatives to RCT retreatment?

The only alternative to retreatment may be extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge, or partial denture in order to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Unfortunately, this option may be far more costly and time-consuming than RCT retreatment. That’s why it’s so important to minimize the risk of a failed root canal treatment by taking excellent care of your teeth and gums.

Contact Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC

If you’ve had root canal treatment and are still experiencing tooth pain, schedule an appointment with our skilled team at Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC to see if re-treatment may be necessary. At Upper East Side Endodontists, the root of our practice is unsurpassed care, compassion and comfort!