Retrograde Filling

George B. Shinn Jr., DDS, Los Angeles, CA

Appointments: (424) 331-1351 | General Inquiries: (310) 649-3636

George B. Shinn Jr.
DDS, Los Angeles, CA

Appointments: (424) 331-1351
General Inquiries: (310) 649-3636


Mon 9 am - 6 pm

Tue 9 am - 6 pm

Wed 9 am - 6 pm

Thur 9 am - 6 pm

Fri 9 am - 5 pm

Sat 3rd Saturday of each month 10 am - 4 pm

Sun Closed

What is a retrograde filling?

A retrograde filling is a special filling that is used to seal off the apex, or end portion, of a tooth root following a previously performed root canal procedure. The apex is the tip of the root where the blood vessels and nerves enter the tooth itself. A retrograde filling is used to help seal this area and prevent bacteria from entering the space.

When is a retrograde filling used?

Retrograde fillings are typically used when a previously placed filling fails to achieve a tight seal at the root end following an earlier surgery, allowing the root apex to become infected or otherwise damaged. It can also be performed in teeth that have been severely fractured or when infection occurs after a crown becomes cracked or broken.

What happens during the retrograde filling application procedure?

A retrograde filling is typically placed while you're sedated so you'll be able to “doze” throughout your procedure. Before the procedure, dental X-rays will be taken, and the tooth will be examined to ensure the problems require a retrograde filling, and not another type of endodontic approach to achieve the best results. Once you've been sedated and the area is numbed with a local anesthetic, the gum that surrounds the affected root will be carefully opened and drawn back (resected) to provide access to the area around the root apex.

Any decay or infection will be carefully removed, and the area will be thoroughly cleansed before the filling material is applied. Once the filling is complete, the incision will be sutured closed. Healing typically takes about a week to 10 days, at which time a permanent crown can be applied. You'll be provided with instructions on how to care for the area during healing, and you may be prescribed antibiotics as well.