• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Root Canal Retreatment Questions



Well-known member
Mar 9, 2022
Hello all! The time is almost here for my root canal retreatment. It is my first time getting a retreatment. The endodontist said he won't know what he's working with or what the infection is like until he can see inside.
  1. I am worried about the infection. He said it's up at the top near my bone, sort of like a little void of infection that's been there for a while. Once he goes in to start it, could it make me feel ill due to the infection being disturbed? He may be prescribing meds.
  2. He said it is treatable, but I am so worried about it failing again.
  3. I have to get in done in two appointments and don't know what to expect at the first one. Why would it maybe be split into two?
Just any advice overall would be helpful for retreatment and retreatment recovery. I am insanely afraid.
1) No
2) If it isn't treated then it'll definitely fail :)
3) Some dentists prefer to do them in 2 stages with an intermediate antiseptic dressing in the canal, the idea being that it gives some time to kill of any residual infection before the final root filling is placed. Some prefer a 1 visit technique.
First appt will be cleaning out the old root fillings, washing out the canals with antiseptic and probably spending time looking for any canals that may have been missed during the first root treatment.
@Gordon Thank you so very much. Is that the antiseptic dressing that may taste like cloves or funky? I think I had this before and the bad taste was alarming.

Also, last root canal I had at some point there was a smell of bleach. Is that normal? I was like OMG what if I swallow this?
No, it's a temp filling that tastes of cloves. The antiseptic stuff doesn't have much taste nowadays, when I was a boy we used to use creosote, you can only imagine what that tasted like!

Yes, we use bleach to wash out and disinfect the canals, you won't swallow it, that's what the rubber dam is there for.
@Gordon Ahhh I can imagine how that tasted! Thank you Gordon.