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Root Canal Retreatment in London

Even when a tooth has received root canal treatment, it might still become reinfected. The patient will usually notice a returning dull pain, and the general feeling will be that “something is not right”. More often than not the tooth in question is not the cause of pain. Moreover, the inflammation may not be visible until the area is looked at in an X-ray. The area affected, around the root tips, will show up on the X-ray as a dark spot.

Written by: Dr Negin Mosahebi

Negin Mosahebi, a dedicated Endodontist since 2003, gained her Masters in Endodontics in 2006 and has extensive teaching experience. She works in several London practices, emphasizing patient comfort and collaboration. She actively continues her education, conducts research, and offers CPD courses.

Clinically reviewed by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Treatment Duration

120 minutes


From £1000

Combined Team Experience

25+ years

Recovery Time

24 hours

Our Google Rating

★★★★★ (4.9)

What is root canal retreatment?

If a re-infection occurs following a root canal treatment (and this doesn’t occur in most cases), then root canal retreatment may be necessary. As a recent root canal treatment patient you may well be monitoring the tooth and affected area and so be more aware of any pain or discomfort re-occurring.

Symptoms may include a returning dull pain indicating a general feeling that “something is not right”. Often it is not the affected tooth itself causing the pain and/or discomfort but an inflammation of the area around the root tips caused by a re-infection which is only visible as a dark spot under X-ray.

Root canal retreatment is conducted in a similar manner to your original root canal treatment by cleansing and disinfecting the entire root canal system on this occasion plus the original root canal filling is removed before new filling and sealing of the affected tooth is applied. 

Who is suitable for root canal retreatment?

After your consultation and once we are in receipt of your dental X-rays, your experienced dental professional at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic will be in the best position to advise whether you are suitable for root canal retreatment on this occasion as presented.

Your dentist or endodontist will inspect the affected tooth (or teeth) and ask you several questions about when the pain became apparent, whether the area has been damaged by injury and when your original root canal treatment was undertaken (if it wasn’t undertaken by a Wimpole St Dental Clinic dentist).

Our state-of-the-art 3D X-ray technology is one of the best premium dentistry tools available and will allow us to assess your suitability for root canal retreatment.

If you’re not suitable for root canal retreatment your dentist may recommend an alternate course of action such as a tooth extraction in order to avoid future issues.

Root canal REtreatment fees

Front tooth retreatmentfrom £1000
Premolar retreatmentfrom £1,300
Molar retreatmentfrom £1,600
Review X-ray£120

Internationally renowned dental specialists that you can trust

We know that no patient looks forward to root canal treatment, never mind retreatment, so our dental team always work hard to deliver the highest quality care.

Retreatment for root canal differs in cost from £1000 up to £1,600. Costs depend on patient circumstances and oral health. Every one of our patients receives a bespoke personal treatment plan from our specialist team.

Our Reviews

Based on 93 reviews
Natalia Sassoon
Natalia Sassoon
Great service and care with Dr Shravan. Highly recommend his service and the clinic for all their help. Thank you!
Bianca Skinner
Bianca Skinner
Excellent practice! Such a lovely practice. I have been a client of Raul Costa's for many years. He is incredibly professional, experienced and I trust him completely.
Alex Popa
Alex Popa
Hi, I have been recommended to Wimpole Street Dental Clinic. Booked an appointment for check up. My Dentist was Dr. Raul Costa. During the check up, some issues were discovered. Everything was explained into detail, and with the beat solution's. On the spot Dr. Raul Costa has dealt with the minor issues, which it was really great and helpful. For my next appointment, we had to work for at least 1 and a half hour. To be honest I am not really good in sitting for so long in a dentist chiar, and doing all sorts of procedures. But Dr. Raul Costa made it look, and feel very easy taking and comfortable. To be honest at one point I did fell asleep, which this never happened to me, during dental practice to my body. I am more than happy with the results, and also with the type of quality materials used. I have already recommended the clinic and Dr. Raul Costa to a few friends and family, which they already been there, and they are very happy. Can highly recommend Wimpole Street Dental Clinic, Dr. Raul Costa and all their professional stuff. Alex
Verity Wilkinson
Verity Wilkinson
I can’t recommend the clinic enough! I am a nervous person when it comes to dentistry but was made to feel immediately at ease by all the staff. Christian and his team are incredible!
Alexander Higgs
Alexander Higgs
Expertise shown by Dr S Chawla was excellent, calmed any nerves I had and let me know everything that was going to happen before doing anything. Gave a detailed plan and was able to answer any question I had for him. Unfortunately 2 Bitewing X-rays did not load so was exposed to unnecessary radiation. Hope they correct this Fault for future patients.
Mehmet Ali
Mehmet Ali
I’ve had fixed implants( top and bottom) at this clinic . I could not be happier with the result. Dr Dejan Dragisic preformed the procedure and I can not recommend him highly enough . The whole team at this clinic are very professional, helpful and friendly . Dr Dejan Dragisic explained the whole procedure and put my mind at rest the whole whole time I was in the chair . I had very little pain afterwards . Worth every penny .
lailaa carr
lailaa carr
Excellence. I can't say this enough. Just Excellence, from the moment I walked in to when I left. I was very nervous after bad experiences over many, many years with other dental practices, resulting in me not going to a dentist. The receptionists were very kind and understanding, making me feel at ease. Prof Dr Christian Mehl was extremely patient, respectful, attentive, and assuring, and he explained everything to me. My treatment was smooth and flawless, with absolutely no pain. He is, without a doubt, a true professional. I have my faith restored, but most of all, I have finally, finally found a dental clinic and a dentist I can trust. I can't thank everyone enough. I don’t normally write or trust reviews. If you are reading this, then I assure you, you can trust this one.
Bernhard Raschke
Bernhard Raschke
Brilliant team (receptionists, dentists, nurses), brilliant patient experience and top quality work. Real professionals with a big heart!
Donna Williams
Donna Williams
6 star service and care! What a fabulous experience- worth every £. Exceptional dentistry from surgeon Dr A El-Awa , top tech used to ensure my 2nd molar was extracted in the most efficient, comfortable ( pain free) and caring, personal manner. Unbelievably well treated by all staff, front desk to Dr’s assistants Alice and Anna. Simply beyond expectations. Thank you ! Don’t hesitate to book this top class, clean and professional clinic. Off the charts, excellent. Actually looking forward to the follow up treatment programme for the rest of my mouth!! And I came up from Brighton to Central London for this. Well done. Best £££’s worth in a very long time!

Rest assured, you’re in safe hands with our root canal specialists

What happens during root canal retreatment?

No root canal retreatment will take place until one of our dentists (highly experienced in endodontics) perform an initial consultation with you in order to identify the cause of the issue and assess whether you are suitable for retreatment.

Rest assured, just as before during the original root canal treatment, as the procedure begins you will receive a local anaesthetic to numb the infected tooth and surrounding gums ensuring you experience a virtually pain-free appointment with us.

The root canal retreatment process at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic in London:-

  • Our state-of-the-art 2D or 3D X-ray technology diagnoses the nature and potential complexity of the re-infection site at the root canal as we view the issue in precise detail creating the optimal dental care plan for you.
  • Your original root canal filling is removed by your dentist using a microscope.
  • Your entire root canal is cleaned and disinfected mechanically and chemically to kill existing bacteria and remove root tissue remnants which could cause further potential inflammation.
  • Your root canal is closed with a new thick root filling to ensure bacteria is sealed out.
  • Your root canal back tooth is sealed with crowns and partial crowns to prevent fracture or any further potential re-infection.
  • Your root canal front tooth is either sealed with fillings, crowns or partial crowns.

How does Root Canal Retreatment work?

Please be advised that success rates for root canal retreatment are around 60%-85%. During your initial treatment we will give you an estimate of the likely success of your individual treatment based on the health of the root canal and general surrounding area.

Your dentist may suggest a different course of action (such as an extraction) if he or she feels that it isn’t the optimal dental procedure.

Why is Wimpole Street Dental Clinic best for root canal retreatment in London?

Whenever you need to take care of your smile – in an emergency, during routine care or when booking cosmetic dentistry – you naturally seek a qualified, skilled and experienced dental professional whom you can trust to deliver the premium dental care you expect at every appointment.

We would like you to consider placing your trust in Wimpole Street Dental Clinic because:

  • We are internationally renowned within the dental profession
  • We pride ourselves on offering evidence-based dentistry with a person-centred approach
  • We offer a new standard in modern dentistry in our clinical methodology  – leveraging the optimal combination of the finest handcraft, magnifying equipment like a microscope, digital computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology to deliver excellence in both patient care and dental treatment success
  • We perform all root canal treatments in accordance with the guidelines of the German and British Society of Endodontics here at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic in London under a microscope.
  • We have decades of combined endodontic knowledge and endodontic surgery experience.

Specifically for root canal retreatment, not only do we hold a success rate of around 60%-85%, but we also have a clear and confident clinical dental care resolution to safeguard your smile if the outcome is not successful. On these occasions, after consultation, your experienced dental professional at our central London clinic can perform an apicectomy if deemed the next necessary step in your optimum dental care.   


Why might I need root canal retreatment?

Retreatment of the root canal might be required if the treated area failed to heal as expected. There are numerous causes for this including:

  • New decay affects and potentially exposes the root canal treatment to a new infection.
  • Damage caused by injury or trauma to the area, tooth, crown or filling exposes the area to further infection.
  • The temporary restoration and the rubber dam sealing the root canal area were unable to prevent an infection from the patient’s saliva contaminating the area during the treatment.
  • Curved or narrow canals were not treated sufficiently in the original procedure.
  • The placement of a crown was delayed following the initial treatment.

If the abscess drains through the periosteum and gums into the oral cavity, a so-called dental fistula forms and the pain subsides. When the inflammation becomes chronic, a tooth cyst can form. The patient usually has no pain, but the affected tooth should be treated in any case so that the inflammation does not spread.

Does root canal retreatment hurt?

After experiencing symptoms including a returning dull pain indicating that perhaps there is still a continuing issue with the canal area, you may be relieved to know that once the root canal retreatment begins you will receive a local anaesthetic to numb the infected tooth and surrounding gums. This helps us undertake the endodontic surgery without causing you any pain. Most patients do experience discomfort following the dental procedure. Your dentist may suggest taking over-the-counter pain relief as a way of reducing this initial discomfort.

Do I need an endodontist for root canal retreatment?

An endodontist is a specialist dentist who has undertaken additional endodontics training at dental school. Endodontics is an area of dentistry focused on diagnosing dental pain and usually involves a specialism in treatments such as root canal and apical surgery.

However, your dentist doesn’t necessarily have to be an endodontist in order to undertake root canal treatment or retreatment. A general dentist might have enough training and experience to undertake root canal treatment and retreatments.

dental bridges specialist prosthodontics Christian Mehl

What to expect after root canal retreatment?

As with your original root canal treatment, you may only experience minor sensitivity to the tooth in question for a few days afterwards. During your initial consultation, we will be in the best position to advise on the post-treatment aftercare required for your individual case and this will form part of your optimal dental care plan with us at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic.

How long does a root canal retreatment take?

Root canal retreatments can be a more lengthy and complex procedure than your original root canal treatment with us. This is because it will be necessary to remove the original root canal filling and cleanse the entire root canal system including any root canals which may not have previously been attended to.

After your initial consultation with us, we will be in the best position to offer you a realistic duration of treatment after assessing your individual needs as presented on this occasion.

Zygomatic Implants

How long does the pain last after root canal retreatment?

Root canal retreatment recovery time for our dental patients may be just a few days afterwards. You may experience minor sensitivity to the tooth in question.

If you have any concerns which arise post-treatment regarding the healing process, please contact us at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic for advice.

Does root canal retreatment work?

Here at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic, we hold a success rate of around 60%-85% for root canal retreatment. In order to give your root canal retreatment the best chance of success you may wish to consider the following dental hygiene advice to ensure optimum oral care:

  • Brush and floss your teeth twice a day as a minimum.
  • Consider using mouthwash regularly (limited impact).
  • Place a final restoration, e.g. a crown or partial crown to prevent bacteria from re-entering the area and to stabilise the tooth.
  • Visit us at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic twice a year for check-ups, cleanings and oral exams.
  • Contact your experienced dental professional immediately if you think your tooth is reinfected or you are experiencing a severe toothache. Simply give us a phone call, tell us your symptom and we will book you in for a consultation as soon as possible.
  • Should you need a dental filling consider partial crowns or crowns for optimum protection to safeguard your smile.

How many times can a root canal be retreated?

After your initial consultation with us at our London clinic we will be in the best position to advise you upon all your options available and how many times they could be applied in your individual case as presented on this occasion.

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When did we last update this page?

Our expert team continually update and research the latest news and techniques in dentistry, as such we regularly update our pages and have these clinically reviewed.

Current Version

July 21st 2023

  • Added “when did we last update this page” and author biography to the page.

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

Previous Versions

October 2nd 2022

  • Page redesigned and updated to reflect change in address.

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

30th August 2021

  • Original content created.

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

Wimpole St Dental Clinic has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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  • Ford TR, Rhodes JS. Root canal retreatment: 2. Practical solutions. Dent Update. 2004 Mar;31(2):97-102. doi: 10.12968/denu.2004.31.2.97. PMID: 15065373.
  • Nayak A, Jain PK, Kankar PK, Jain N. Computer-aided design-based guided endodontic: A novel approach for root canal access cavity preparation. Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2018 Aug;232(8):787-795. doi: 10.1177/0954411918788104. Epub 2018 Jul 17. PMID: 30014778.
  • Slowey RR. Root canal anatomy. Road map to successful endodontics. Dent Clin North Am. 1979 Oct;23(4):555-73. PMID: 294389.