How Long Does A Root Canal Actually Last?

Dentist Blog

If you've recently undergone a root canal, you might be wondering — how long will it actually last? It's a valid question, although there's no real definitive answer. The good news is that a root canal is designed to be a lasting solution for a problematic tooth, and for most people, root canal treatment can offer a permanent fix.

The Dental Pulp

The severity of the infection of the dental pulp (the nerve located in each tooth) plays a role in the long-lasting success of your root canal. These types of infections can spread, and they will begin to affect the surrounding tissues and underlying bone. When the root canal is performed early, these tissues can remain unaffected, meaning that there are unlikely to be further complications in the future. This helps to ensure that your root canal won't require additional attention at a later stage.

The Affected Tooth

The tooth that received the root canal is also relevant. The root structure of certain teeth is more straightforward than others. The teeth toward\ the front of your mouth (such as your canines and your incisors) have a single root, meaning that root canal treatment isn't especially complicated. Your molars have multiple roots (generally two to three) which reflects the significant bite pressure these teeth are exposed to. Root canals can certainly be performed on molars, although the anatomy of these teeth means that the process is somewhat more involved.

Other Considerations

The anatomy of any tooth isn't as predictable as you might think either. Some teeth have what are known as accessory canals, which are tiny canals branching off the primary pulp chamber, where the nerve is found. The pulp is removed from this chamber before the chamber is cleaned and filled. Occasionally, contaminants can remain in these accessory chambers, leading to a reinfection of the site. In these cases, a second root canal may be needed. This isn't the most pleasant outcome but is certainly preferable to living with the infection. Not to mention, extraction and a prosthetic replacement may otherwise be needed as well.

There are certain elements of a root canal that are entirely out of your control, but there's a lot you can do to ensure the longevity of your treatment. This means you need to maintain a high level of oral hygiene, making sure that the affected tooth is well cared for, whether it was sealed with a dental filling or a dental crown. The better care you take, the less likely the tooth is to experience further complications. For more information about root canals, contact a dentist.


16 April 2021

Fluoride: Why I Drink Tap Water

When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.