Root Canal Complications

If you’re concerned or are suffering from root canal complications or failed root canal, this page was created with you in mind.

This is where we explain certain complications that may arise after root canal treatments and how we treat and prevent such complications from happening.

Fact is, root canal treatment has more than 95% success rate and only about 5% of root canal complications result to failed root canals.

Root canal treatment is used to repair a tooth that has been damaged due to an infection or is in terrible physical shape. The process involves cleaning out the pulp chamber to avoid further infection around the tooth. Root canal treatment has a bad reputation of being painful, but we assure you that it is wrongfully accused, the pain is actually minimal and is only similar to that of having a filling placed and the fact that it saves a lot of teeth yearly remains true. If you are to ask for an alternative to root canal; so far, the only existing alternative for root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth altogether which makes root canal a better choice in saving one's tooth.

The usual symptoms of root canal complications or failure are tooth pain and swelling of gums around the treated tooth but then again, the feared root canal complications may arise in extremely rare cases. 

There are various causes as to why infection may recur in the treated tooth. 

  • A tooth may have cracks on its roots that may allow bacteria to re-contaminate the insides of your tooth. In cases like this, we will evaluate your situation thoroughly and we can do another treatment. If re-treatment is not likely, then an extraction will be in order.
  • the seal deteriorates over time. The deterioration of the inner seal will cause the re-growth of bacteria inside your treated tooth. However this is an unlikely case among our clients, since the seals we use are hard to breakdown. But if this happens the option we are most likely to take is another root canal procedure which is almost always successful.
  • In some instances root canals may not be entirely cleaned and sealed by your dentist thereby leaving old infections to recontaminate or leaving doors for bacteria to penetrate the tooth.
  • Fracturing the root of the tooth during the filing procedure may result to serious root canal complications; this happens to brittle tooth.
  • Accidental breaking of Edondontic's file during the procedure is a common complication. If this happens during the cleaning process, the broken part is removed.
  • Defective dental restorations due to improper procedure or substandard materials would allow bacteria to invade the tooth through the filling and recontaminate the tooth.
  • Sometimes dentists would perform root canal treatment as a last attempt in saving a tooth though it's largely decayed; this could be the last measure if you still want to save an extensively decayed tooth but the guarrantee is nil.
  • Accidental root perforation is also considered one of the most common root canal complications. This is where the edodontist's instrument accidentally damage the root of your tooth during the procedure so make sure that you only let experts work on your tooth.

The most common solution in addressing root canal complications and failure is to perform a root canal re treatment. If the dentist thinks that a re treatment isn't possible in your case but there's still a chance to save your tooth; he may decide on removing the tooth's apex (root's tip) - this process is called apicoectomy.

In cases where any of the two solutions aren't available to you, extraction will be performed and your tooth may be replaced by a dental implant.

There's no exact time as to when root canal complications may occur as sometimes, initial symptoms may not be visible; it may occur days after your root canal treatment or it may occur after some years so follow-up examinations are ideal so your dentist can monitor the status of your root canal and can address any issues before it even worsen.

If you have specific root questions with regard this topic but was not covered in this article, you may ask our dentists and they will post a reply to answer your query on this page.

Or find out how we can help solve your root canal issue through the form below:

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