Root Canal Retreatments in Richmond, VA

Resolve a Root Canal Failure in the Richmond, Virginia Area

Sometimes, it is necessary to “re-treat” or “revise” a root canal because of infection after initial treatment. A root canal retreatment or complication is typically a consequence of inadequate prior root canal therapy, complicated canal anatomy, or a leaking restoration that becomes contaminated with oral bacteria. Dr. Harris and his team are the experts in endodontic retreatments. We work hard to return your tooth and its surrounding tissues to health and get you out of pain. If you need care, email our team or call our offices in Mechanicsville (804-559-3636), Midlothian (804-838-3636), and Short Pump (804-506-3636) today.

A woman smiles after her root canal retreatment.

What Is a Root Canal Retreatment?

Teeth that have undergone a root canal treatment can last a lifetime. Occasionally, however, a root canal-treated tooth does not heal properly. A root canal retreatment (or endodontic retreatment) is a non-surgical procedure that addresses a root canal failure and saves the natural tooth. Our endodontists identify any previously undetected issues and meticulously resolve them by removing the root canal fillings, cleaning them, shaping them, and then sealing them closed.

Successfully retreated teeth will eventually restore chewing, biting, and other basic functions without any semblance of pain or discomfort.

Reasons for a Root Canal Retreatment

An endodontic retreatment is necessary for patients who are suffering from a failed root canal. This issue is relatively rare. Studies indicate that the success rate of root canals is as high as 98%. However, a root canal failure can occur from time to time. Problems that might cause a root canal to fail include:

  • Recurrent infection from persistent bacteria
  • An underfilled canal
  • An overfilled canal
  • Missed or hidden canal
  • Leakage due to an improper seal

What Are the Symptoms of a Failed Root Canal?

It can be a little trick to identify the symptoms of a root canal failure, given that they vary. You may experience sensitivity to pressure. Some patients describe a general discomfort or an “achy” sensation in the area. In extreme cases, there can be throbbing or facial swelling. It is also possible for you to feel no discomfort whatsoever, in which case regular dental care will be crucial to catch the problem before it worsens.

Can a Failed Root Canal Be Saved?

In the vast majority of cases, our endodontist can save a failed root canal and effectively retreat the tooth. With the addition of the Gentlewave System to our Short Pump, Midlothian, and Mechanicsville locations, East Coast Endodontics further maximizes the success rate of retreated root canals. Ultimately, however, our team evaluates every patient on a case-by-case basis. If root canal retreatment is the best option for you, we will explain your options and discuss the likelihood of success before we begin.

Dr. Harris performs a root canal retreatment procedure.

What to Expect During a Root Canal Retreatment

After our endodontists carefully examine your mouth and discuss your options with you, our team will remove the previous root canal filling material. Once we have access to the root, we then carefully re-clean the canals to remove any new decay or bacteria. Using a special surgical microscope along with digital radiography, we will evaluate your affected tooth and the adjacent teeth. After a final cleaning and shaping, our endodontists will fill the canals to seal the root canal system.

Within a few weeks, your general dentist will fit your tooth with a new restoration (crown or filling) or repair your current restoration.

Is a Root Canal Retreatment Painful?

A retreatment is not a painful experience. The goal is the exact opposite. We work hard to relieve your pain. Our patients are happy to report they are “comfortably numb” and experience little to no discomfort after the procedure.

How Long Does a Root Canal Retreatment Take?

Most retreatments can be completed in about an hour. However, every patient’s mouth is unique and your failed root canal will present a challenge specific just to you. As such, the time it takes to retreat your tooth can vary depending on how complex the circumstances of your visits are. Some retreatments require multiple visits to our office.

Expert Root Canal Retreatments in Virginia

Treating a failed root canal requires expertise and care. East Coast Endodontics is home to the best root canal retreatment team in the Richmond area. Your well-being and comfort are our utmost priorities in our approach to endodontic care. Our team will do everything we can to relieve your pain and restore your healthy smile as soon as possible. If you are in pain, send us a message online or call one of our offices in Mechanicsville (804-559-3636), Midlothian (804-838-3636), or Short Pump (804-506-3636) today!