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Root Canal Failure

Posted on August 13, 2019

One of the most common endodontic procedures is root canal treatment.

The goal of a root canal is to treat and protect your tooth from further infection. Unfortunately, if the treated tooth does not heal properly or develops new problems, you may experience painful symptoms due to a failed root canal.

If you experience root canal failure, there are treatment options available which may be able to save your tooth and support healing.

What Is a Failed Root Canal?

Root canals treat deep infections or other damage that can occur to your tooth’s pulp.

However, there is a risk that your treated tooth can become infected again.

A failed root canal occurs when a tooth that has undergone a root canal becomes infected at the root. Without proper treatment, the infection can spread to your other teeth.

If you have had a root canal and begin experiencing any of the following adverse symptoms, you may be experiencing root canal failure:

  • Pain or tenderness in the treated tooth
  • Sensitivity when biting or closing your teeth together
  • Pain or tenderness in the gum tissue surrounding your treated tooth
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Swelling in the affected area or to your face and neck
  • Development of a pus-filled abscess

A failed root canal can also display additional symptoms, or possibly no signs at all.

In these cases, a dental X-ray reveals the issue.

Why Do Root Canals Fail?

As with any dental procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after treatment.

There are a variety of factors that can lead to root canal failure, including:

  • Complex root canal structures: Your tooth may have more canals than expected or narrow or curved canals. If a canal was missed and not treated, an infection can develop.
  • Obstruction: Obstructions, such as improperly applied sealants, filling material or even another tooth can make it difficult for the dentist to clean the affected canal thoroughly.
  • Fracture or crack: If the root of the affected tooth or the tooth itself is cracked or develops a fracture after the initial procedure, this can lead to an infection.
  • Dental crown placement: If there is any delay in placing your dental crown following treatment, an infection may occur. Loose or broken crowns can also expose the tooth to a new infection.
  • Salivary contamination: The restoration may not have prevented the inside of your tooth from becoming contaminated by bacteria in your saliva.

What Failed Root Canal Treatment Options Are Available?

If you experience root canal failure, make an appointment with an endodontist as soon as possible.

This dental professional specializes in root canals and will need to treat the underlying issue. Depending on the severity of the failed root canal, your endodontist will consider all options and recommend what they feel is the best course of treatment for you.

There are a few potential options for treating a failed root canal, including:

  • Retreatment: Retreatment is the most common treatment for root canal failure. It also has the highest rate of success. Using specialized techniques, your endodontist accesses the damaged or infected area and treats the infection. Then, they seal the canal area with a new filling and sealant to prevent further damage and preserve the integrity of the tooth.
  • Apicoectomy: Sometimes, an additional procedure may be needed in which the tip of the root gets completely or partially removed and a new seal gets placed.
  • Extraction: A tooth only gets extracted if retreatment does not adequately treat and restore the affected tooth. However, if this occurs, you may be a candidate for a dental implant to fill the space.

Contact Midtown Endodontist NYC for Failed Root Canal Treatment

If you are experiencing adverse symptoms in a tooth that received a root canal treatment, don’t wait. Make an appointment right away with Midtown Endodontist NYC. We can evaluate your tooth to determine if retreatment or another treatment option is needed, and provide the necessary treatment and care.

Book your appointment today with our highly trained endodontist.

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