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Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic, treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occur, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.

The root canal retreatment procedure is similar to the root canal treatment procedure described above, but has a few extra steps. Removal of all root canal filling materials, occasionally placement of an antibacterial paste called calcium hydroxide. The tooth is then closed with a temporary filling material. If the calcium hydroxide is used it is left in the tooth for some time to reduce the number of bacteria and give the tooth the best chances of healing before completing the final steps.


On the next visit, the calcium hydroxide paste is removed, the canals are once again thoroughly cleaned and shaped, and a new root canal filling is placed. Finally, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening in your tooth. Your dentist will remove this temporary filling at the time the tooth is restored. Following root canal treatment your tooth is susceptible to fracturing, or to infection due to loss of the temporary filling. Therefore it is imperative that you return to your dentist in a timely manner in order to restore the tooth to its full functionality.

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Bellingham, WA 98225