How Long Will a Root Canal Treatment Last?

Root canal treatment is very common but if you need this therapy you probably want to know how long it will last and if it will save your tooth from extraction.

69% of adults 35-44 have lost at least one permanent tooth due to accident, gum disease, failed root canal or tooth decay.*

Root canal treatment can also be called endodontic treatment or therapy and is extremely effective for saving teeth, preserving them for many years or even for life. In spite of this, the success of therapy can differ quite widely and does depend on various factors.

Why Would I Need a Root Canal?

Dr. Larry Leslie will recommend a root canal if the inside of a tooth become badly infected. The inner part of a healthy tooth contains living tissue, including nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. If bacteria get into this inner area, called the pulp, then the tooth will need to be thoroughly cleaned out. To do this the pulp will have to be removed, and the root canals that extend from the pulp right into the roots of the tooth are cleaned and shaped using special files. Afterwards the entire area is disinfected and sealed, preventing bacteria from re-entering.

Factors that Affect the Longevity of a Root Canal

One factor that greatly affects the longevity of treatment is whether the infection has spread from the root canals into the surrounding bone. If the infection has spread, then there is a chance the tooth could become re-infected at a later date. This means it is important to get professional dental care as soon as you can. If you notice a tooth has begun to ache or perhaps the gum around a tooth looks inflamed or swollen, then book an appointment with Tsawwassen Place Dental as soon as you can so we can diagnose and treat the affected tooth.

Once a tooth has been treated it is often sealed with a temporary filling. This is done to ensure the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned out and all the bacteria have been removed. Sometimes we will place topical antibiotics into the empty pulp chamber just to make sure. It is important to make sure you return to our dental clinic to have the tooth permanently restored, usually with a crown. Failing to do so will increase the chance of the tooth failing at a later date as it will have been weakened by the root canal and more prone to fracturing.

Some teeth are easier to treat than others. For example the front teeth have single roots and root canals which are easy to access and clean out. Back teeth can often have several roots and root canals which are more complicated to access and clean out. You don’t bite down so heavily on your front teeth compared to your back teeth. This is why we tend to restore back teeth with a crown that completely covers up and protects the tooth, whereas front teeth can sometimes be restored with just a filling.

In spite of these factors, a root canal can still be a great treatment and we will always recommend this therapy if we think there is a good chance of saving your natural tooth. Many people will find their root canal treatment lasts for a very long time and your natural dentition is always better than artificial replacements.

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