3986 N Campbell Ave Tucson, AZ 85719 520-795-3418

Johnny Icely, DMD  |  Mark A. Larsen, DMD |  Eric J. Pearce, DMD



Root canal therapy has a high rate of success. In some cases, however, an infection may return. This can happen months or years after initial treatment.

Root canal therapy can be very predictable but here are a few reasons why the infection may return:

  • Canals can be very narrow and curved making it difficult to clean out.
  • Another canal may be present that wasn’t initially detected.
  • Tooth decay can allow bacteria back inside the tooth.
  • Or a new problem may arise and re-infect the tooth.

Retreatment may involve reopening the tooth to access the canals. The canals are again cleaned and disinfected. If additional canals are present, that may have been missed at initial therapy, then they are treated as well.

Sometimes retreatment is not the best solution. Instead it may be recommended to perform an endodontic surgery where the tip of the root of the tooth is removed and then the tooth is sealed at that end. This surgery is often performed by a root canal therapist known as an Endodontist.

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