Root Canal Retreatment - Irvine Endodontist

At Northwood Endodontics, our goal is to help you maintain the best possible oral health. 
Unfortunately, extensive tooth decay and infection can put your teeth at risk. If an infection spreads to the innermost part of the tooth, “the pulp,” it can cause immense pain and discomfort. Ultimately, it can threaten the life of a tooth. We always try to save a tooth from extraction. If you have an infection within the pulp, we may recommend root canal therapy. If you find the same tooth bothering you in the months and years that follow your root canal, you may need retreatment. 


During a root canal, Dr. Michelle Lee will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area and eliminate discomfort. Next, we use a small instrument to access the inside of the tooth and clear away any damaged or decayed pulp. Once all the affected material is removed, we flush out the area with an antimicrobial solution to reduce your risk of further infection. We then dry the empty chamber and fill it with a rubber-like material. 

After the tooth has been properly prepared, we will close the opening with a temporary filling. A tooth that has undergone a root canal can become brittle and unstable. To protect the tooth, we must cap it with a dental crown. The fabrication process typically takes a few weeks. Once your crown is ready, we will permanently bond it to the enamel.


A root canal can typically last a lifetime with the proper care. However, retreatment may be necessary if problems appear. You may need retreatment if:

  • You have restricted canals that trap infection-causing bacteria.
  • You did not initially receive a dental crown and left the tooth susceptible to further infection.
  • There is a new crack or fracture in the enamel.
  • There is a new infection due to a cracked or broken crown.

During retreatment, Dr. Michelle Lee will remove the crown or filling and carefully examine the canals. We will then remove any additional infected material. After we completely rework the canals, they will again be filled and a temporary filling will be added.


Each patient is different, but you will receive detailed post-operative instructions. If everything goes according to plan, any swelling, soreness, and pain should subside within a few days to a week. We will ask you to schedule a follow-up appointment, so we can monitor your process and place another dental crown.

You should pay special attention to your retreated tooth during your daily oral hygiene routine. Proper brushing and flossing can prevent future complications. Regular checkups and professional cleanings are also an important part of your oral health. 


If you are experiencing problems with a previously treated tooth, you may need root canal retreatment. Call Northwood Endodontics at (949) 930-9400 to schedule your appointment today!

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