Endodontic Retreatment

Fotolia_22942983_XS-300x225With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, a tooth that has received endodontic treatment may fail to heal, or pain may continue to exist. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, endodontic retreatment of a root canal may be needed.

Improper healing may be caused by the following:

  • Curved or narrow root canals were not treated during the initial endodontic treatment.
  • Complicated root canals went undetected during the initial endodontic treatment.
  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the root canal procedure.
  • The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.

“I have been so impressed by the quality work you have done for my brother in law. We will recommend Cascade Endo to all our neighbors and family!”

—Terri D.

In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:

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

Once retreatment of a root canal has been selected as a solution JensonYoungGirlto your problem, Orem endodontist Dr. Jon Jenson will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. He will re-clean the root canals and carefully examine the inside of the tooth. Once cleaned, Dr. Jenson will fill and re-seal the root canals and replace the restoration with a temporary filling.

You will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a specialty branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (tissue within the tooth root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth.

When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the clinical crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves.

Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally and can be retained indefinitely.

Should I be worried about x-rays?

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, which produces radiation levels up to 80 percent lower than those of already low-dose modern, conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed, and sent to your general dentist or other dental specialists via e-mail, or disk.

What new technologies are being used?

Operating Microscopes:

In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth. Also, a tiny video camera on the operating microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctor’s findings.

Apex Locators:

These modern electronic devices are used by your endodontist to measure the lengths of your tooth’s roots. Their use both saves time and minimizes the number of needed x-rays.


It used to be the case that the presence of a post in a tooth requiring retreatment of root canal therapy was a common indication for surgical retreatment because of the difficulty and length of the post-removal procedure. But with the advent of ultrasonic instrumentation, post-removal procedures can now be performed over the course of minutes. Our speed in accomplishing this procedure at Cascade Endodontics is further enhanced by our ultramodern dual ultrasonic system.

Rotary Nickel-Titanium Instruments:

Performing a root canal with only the use of hand instruments used to be a process so time-consuming that it would take 4 or 5 visits to complete. A lot has changed. Modern rotary file systems using nickel-titanium instrumentation have greatly reduced the need for multiple visits and produces a more consistent result.

Cone Beam Dental Imaging:

KODAK 9000 3D Extraoral Imaging System combines the power of focused-field 3D technology with cutting-edge panoramic imaging. This unit delivers unprecedented detail, making it ideal for most dental applications.

Contact Us for More Information on Endodontic Retreatment

Utah County endodontist Dr. Jenson often has to perform retreatment of a root canal, especially when the original procedure was performed by a general dentist. Prior to retreatment, he will perform a thorough diagnosis to make sure retreatment of a root canal is required. Contact our endodontic office in Orem at the mouth of Provo Canyon today by calling our office or filling out our contact form on our site.