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Blake Street Dental | Retreatment in Denver

Blake Street Dental P.C.

Dr. Arnold Cullum B.Sc., D.D.S.

1732 Blake Street
Denver, CO 80202

(303) 814-2200



With proper care, most teeth that have had endodontic (root canal) procedures can last as long as other natural teeth. Root canals performed by endodontists (root canal specialists) have a 95% success rate. In some cases, however, a tooth fails to heal properly and on rare occasions,  becomes painful or diseased months or even years after a seemingly successful treatment.

Why do I need retreatment?

As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.
Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.
The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.
The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.
A new problem jeopardizes a tooth that was successfully treated.

New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth. Similarly, a loose, cracked, or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to a new infection. Retreatment is performed in two visits and involves the following:

  • At the initial visit, the endodontist will examine the tooth, take x-rays and discuss your treatment options. If you and your endodontist choose retreatment, the procedure will be scheduled at that time.
  • At the retreatment appointment the endodontist will administer local anesthetic to numb the area. After the tooth is numb, the endodontist will reopen your tooth to access to the root canal filling. In many cases, complex restorative materials (crown, post and core material) must be disassembled and taken out to allow access to the root canal.
  • After removing the filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and examine the inside of your tooth using a microscope, searching for any unusual anatomy that requires treatment.
  • After cleaning the canals, the endodontist will fill and seal them with a temporary filling. Post space may also be prepared at this time.
  • After your endodontist completes the retreatment, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration to protect your mouth and restore it to full function.
  • If the canals are unusually narrow or blocked, your endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery.
Denver Dentist | Retreatment. Arnold Cullum is a Denver Dentist.