Tuesday 23 February 2021

What Happens When A Root Canal Fails

What happens when root canal fails

 Root canal treatment is a treatment carried out on your tooth when the pulp (the part of your tooth containing blood vessels and nerves) is damaged, diseased or dead.  You can learn more about root canal treatment here: root canal treatment. This treatment can be expensive and unpleasant so it's not a good feeling when it fails.

What are the symptoms of a failed root canal?

Do you still have pain and discomfort after your treatment? Mild discomfort is expected after the treatment because the tissues around the root of your tooth have been disturbed during the treatment. However, if the pain does not resolve after a few days or continues to increase in intensity, you should consult your dentist.

Common symptoms that may indicate treatment failure are:

  • Tooth tenderness or pain
  • The sensitivity of the tooth to heat or cold stimuli like hot tea or a cold drink
  • Pain on biting
  • Swelling of the gum around the tooth
  • Increased tooth mobility

Causes of a failed root canal

  • Incomplete removal of  bacteria from the root canals during treatment due to variation of the size and shape of the root canal
  • A crack or fissure in the root of the teeth
  • Broken root tip
  • Dislodged or broken tooth filling or crown
  • Tooth decay or periodontal(gum) infection

Can a failed root canal be fixed?

Once you develop any of the symptoms above, it is important you visit your dentist immediately to evaluate the situation. 

The dentist will take xrays of the tooth to find out what is happening in the root canals and around the root of the teeth. Depending on what the results are, you may have to repeat the procedure again. This is called an endodontic retreatment. The root canal fillings are removed and the canals are cleaned and disinfected again. The tooth is then restored with a temporary filling or crown. The permanent restoration will be placed at a later appointment.


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