The problems that can occur with root canal treatment.

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How Can Root Canal Treatment Fail?

Although most root canals are successful, there may be instances where treatment may fail. To ensure this doesn’t happen, we have protocols that prevent unexpected problems from occurring.

  • A certain percentage (5 to 10 per cent) of root canals will fail and may require re-treatment, surgery, or extraction.

Our practice reduces the likelihood of failed root canals by employing trained root canal specialists, who have more experience and expertise in this area.

Complications Include:

  • A segment of a file can break in your canal but we use high-quality new instruments for each tooth so the chances of this occurring are slim. 
  • Residual infection due to a canal not being cleaned or filled completely.
  • Certain bacteria may not respond to root canal therapy.
  • About 10% of root canal-treated teeth are lost due to gum disease, splits or fractures of the root(s).
  • Non-surgical endodontic treatment may require more than one appointment. Failure to keep your appointment reduces the success rate.
  • Swelling, pain, trismus (restricted jaw opening), infection, bleeding, sinus involvement and numbness.
  • Tingling of the lip, gum or tongue, which rarely occurs.
  • Not having a crown placed may cause the root canal to fail. 

On certain occasions, we can attempt to save a tooth with a failed root filling by performing an apicoectomy.

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