After thoroughly numbing the area for complete patient comfort, a small hole is made through the crown of the tooth to re-access into the root. The old root canal filling material is then removed and the root is disinfected to try and kill any bacteria that have re-contaminated. This is done using a special irrigation technology called GentleWave. The minimally-invasive GentleWave procedure uses acoustic energy to activate cleaning solutions deep into the microscopic anatomy of the tooth, effectively removing tissue and debris that cause infection.
If the root is unable to be completely disinfected in one visit, a medication is placed in the root to continue to disinfect over the following week or two.
Once the root is completely disinfected, the new root filling can be placed. Just like the first root canal, this is usually a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha.” The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. At that point, either a temporary or permanent filling is placed to close the opening. If a temporary filling is placed, it will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is permanently restored.