Retreatment of a root canal may occasionally be required for a few reasons. If the tooth is developing a new cavity or if the filling/crown is leaking, this can allow bacteria to eventually reinfect the tooth. Also, if there was any canal space not completely disinfected during the initial treatment, there may be bacteria that were left in the canal space causing infection to persist. This can occasionally happen because complex canal anatomy may exist that makes it very difficult to thoroughly disinfect the entire tooth. The main canal can branch or have multiple accessory canals that may harbor bacteria. Sometimes the infection on the outside of the root may persist also, due to bacteria forming a plaque-like coating on the outer surface of the root. If a tooth has been previously treated with a root canal and has a persistent or new infection, we will evaluate to determine if retreatment will correct the problem or if surgical treatment may be required (see Surgical Treatment section). Taking a 3D scan of such a tooth may further help determine the best course of treatment (see 3D imaging).