Root canal treatment is usually a highly successful procedure, but just like any kind of medical treatment there is always a small possibility of complications. This only happens in the tiny percentage of cases and the reason for failure can vary considerably.

What Are Some Complications of Root Canal Treated Teeth?

After root canal procedure or endodontic treatment is completed, the tooth should feel far more comfortable, but if you feel pain in that tooth or notice that the gum tissue around the tooth is tender or swollen then it’s worth coming to see us here at the Central Park S. Dental Care so we can take a look at your tooth to find out what has happened. It’s also possible for root canal treatment to fail but to not cause any painful symptoms.

This is why it’s always important to make sure you have regular dental checkups and x-rays to help determine the success of treatment. Dental x-rays show if there is any sign of inflammation in or around the tooth that has been root treated and which could indicate problems with that tooth. Sometimes complications can arise soon after initial treatment, but other times the tooth may have remained problem-free for many years.

Root Canal Treatment What Happens If It Fails

Reasons Why Root Canal Treatment Can Fail

The root canals of a tooth can often be quite complex, particularly for back teeth where there are a greater number of root canals that must be thoroughly cleaned out. These root canals can be curved and may often be difficult to detect or to reach with the endodontic files that are used to clean root canals out. Sometimes it’s possible for a dentist to miss out a root canal or to fail to clean it completely, allowing bacteria to re-infect the tooth. This is one of the reasons why we take dental x-rays prior to root canal treatment as these help us to identify the number and shape of root canals that must be cleaned and disinfected during your appointment.

Root Canal Complications: What You Need to Know

Another reason for root canal failure can be due to a crack in the root of the tooth. This can be very difficult to detect, but even a tiny crack will allow bacteria to enter and re-infect the tooth. After root canal treatment teeth do become more brittle and this can sometimes result in a vertical root fracture. This is a very difficult condition to treat. Sometimes a root canal may have become perforated during the original root canal procedure, particularly where a root canal was substantially curved and difficult to clean out. Any sort of perforation may allow bacteria to get into the tooth. The endodontic files used to clean out root canals can sometimes break. This isn’t a problem if the root canal has been thoroughly cleaned out as it may be possible for the fragment of file to be left in the tooth, but it is an issue if the root canal still requires further cleaning and disinfection.

If you do have complications after root canal procedure then our dentist will assess the affected tooth before discussing all possible options with you. Sometimes it is possible to re-treat the tooth, but if the chances of success are low then it may be better to remove the tooth and consider options for missing teeth replacement.