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.

Treatment Duration

120 minutes


From £1,200

Team Experience

25+ years

Recovery Time

24 hours

Google Rating

★★★★★ (4.9)

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Clinically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

Table of Contents
    Home » Treatments » Root Canal Retreatment

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Meet your award-winning Root Canal Retreatment dentist and team…

    • We have over 75+ years of combined dentistry experience across our specialist team.
    • 10,000+ treatments performed and counting.
    • We are leaders in the dental industry – we regularly teach, lecture and publish our research work internationally.

    Root Canal Retreatment costs

    Front tooth retreatment


    Premolar retreatment


    Molar retreatment


    Review X-ray


    Our Expertise

    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.

    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.

    Root Canal Retreatment Before & Afters

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    Root Canal Retreatment reviews

    Find out more about our patients, their treatment and why they chose Wimpole Street Dental Clinic.


    Wimpole Street Dental has the highest most ethical standard of work, personable approach, clear and safe procedures, top notch excellence and reliability in treatment provided with utmost professionalism from crème de la crème world class specialists all under one roof.

    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.

    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.

    dental bridges specialist prosthodontics Christian Mehl

    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.

    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.

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    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

    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.

    • Lumley PJ, Adams N, Tomson P. Root canal retreatment. Dent Update. 2006 Nov;33(9):518-20, 522-4, 526-8, 530. doi: 10.12968/denu.2006.33.9.518. PMID: 17176738.
    • 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.
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