A tooth that has had non-surgical endodontic treatment and is appropriately restored is expected to last as long as any other natural tooth. However, a small number of teeth fail to respond to the initial treatment and require further treatment. Once a correct diagnosis is made, determining the cause of the problem and that the prognosis for retreatment is favorable, a retreatment is indicated.
There are numerous causes for further treatment. If you have a 1 inch splinter in your thigh, and you only remove part of it, it won’t heal until the remainder is removed or it becomes infected and works its way out; then the skin heals because of the regenerative capabilities of our body. A tooth that has failed to respond to the initial treatment is no different. Either through new decay around a restoration or the inability to remove all the infected pulp tissue, the root canal system is re-infected. The Doctors have been trained to diagnose the cause of the problem and determine if it is a candidate for retreatment. Because of our years of experience, training and specialized technology, we are able to predictably retreat most teeth. The only thing an extraction and successful root canal have in common is that the entire root canal system has been removed from the bone, and the bone regenerates. The regeneration process of the extraction site and the healing of an endodontic lesion are basically the same except the extraction results in the loss of a body part.
Non surgical retreatment is basically the same as the initial treatment. The primary objective is to seal the root canal system. Instead of removing diseased pulp tissue, we remove the old root canal material, re-shape, sterilize and seal the canal system. We follow up with these patients for radiographs and a clinical exam until the infected bone has healed completely.