Root canal treatment may sound scary, but it’s actually a fairly common procedure that millions of people around the world have each year. We know you might have lots of questions about this procedure, so we’re here to answer some of them:
How Long Do Root Canal Treatments Last?
In most cases, yes! But if you don’t take good care of your teeth after the procedure, there’s a chance it could be damaged. It’s also possible for the infected tooth to become reinfected years later.
The treatment itself is generally an hour-long visit in which your dentist administers a local anesthetic, drills into the infected tooth, and cleans out the infection. How long the treatment lasts depends on how well you take care of your teeth.
What Causes a Root Canal Infection to Return?
A root canal infection can return for several reasons: poor oral hygiene practices, tooth decay near the root canal filling or crown, or injury or trauma to the tooth.
Root canals are so effective because they eliminate bacteria from the centre of your teeth (the pulp chamber) where they live and reproduce.
In some cases, though, bacteria can enter the pulp again through very small openings in the crown of the tooth. These openings occur when there are cracks or chips in the tooth or around old fillings.
Bacteria can also enter through a gap between the crown and/or filling material and your tooth.
How Can I Prevent My Root Canal-Treated Tooth From Becoming Infected Again?
You should continue to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings after you’ve had a root canal procedure. This will help them detect any issues with your treated tooth quickly so they can take care of it before it becomes a serious problem. Your dentist may also suggest that you have a crown placed over your treated tooth to protect it from future damage
Does a Tooth Need to Be Removed if the Infection Returns After Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment is an effective way to heal an infected tooth. But sometimes the infection returns, causing pain and requiring further treatment.
The most common reasons for this are:
#1-Bacteria from the infected area moves from the tip of the root into the root canal system during treatment. If this happens, the infection can come back.
#2-Sometimes there are more canals in a tooth than expected (like extra rooms in a house). If they are not treated during your root canal procedure, bacteria can remain there and cause reinfection later.
#3-Finally, if you have a crack in your tooth that is deep enough to damage your pulp (the nerve), but is too small to be seen on x-rays, it could lead to reinfection even after root canal treatment.
If you have had a root canal procedure and the infection keeps coming back, your dentist will probably suggest that you have the tooth removed (extraction).