Root Canal treatments are highly successful. At our office the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime.
What Should One Expect After the Root Canal?
For the first few days following root canal treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive due to natural tissue inflammation, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This sensitivity or discomfort can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Most patients can return to their normal activities the same day.
Until your root canal procedure is completely finished (the permanent filling and/or the crown is in place), we recommend you avoid chewing on the tooth undergoing treatment. This step will help avoid recontamination of the interior of the tooth and also may prevent a fragile tooth from breaking before the tooth can be permanently restored. As far as oral health care is concerned, brush and floss as you regularly would and see your dentist at normally scheduled intervals.
Complications of a Root Canal
New or persisting infections can exist for the following reasons:
- A missed canal (leaving one of them uncleaned).
- A clinically undetected crack in the root of a tooth.
- Presence of a defective or inadequate permanent dental restoration that has allowed recontamination by bacteria and reinfection.
- Recurrent tooth decay that has invaded the root canal space causing reinfection.
Often retreatment can be successful, other times endodontic surgery is required in order to save the tooth. The most common endodontic surgical procedure is an apicoectomy. This procedure eliminates the inflammation or infection in the bony area around the end of your tooth that continues after the initial endodontic treatment was completed. In this procedure, the gum tissue is reflected, the infected tissue and root end are removed and a small filling is placed to seal the canal.