Does getting a root canal work?In most cases, yes, getting a root canal does work. When the procedure is unsuccessful, it is usually due to common factors listed here. Common reasons for root canals failure. If that is the case, one must typically look into root canal alternatives.
Other reasons a root canal could fail:
- The tooth has a crack that could not be detected radiographically. When the tooth is cracked, it can become re-infected and will have to be extracted.
- Not scheduling a follow-up appointment to place a crown following a root canal treatment. If a crown is not placed, the tooth can break. Depending on the severity of the break, the tooth may or may not be able to be saved.
- Failure can also occur due to lack of proper oral hygiene. If a patient does not visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and does not have excellent home care, bacteria can get under the crown (or filling), and the cavity can destroy the remaining healthy tooth structure.
Preventing a Failed Root CanalA great thing for your smile, whether you’ve had a root canal or not, is proper oral hygiene. Along with visiting your dentist regularly, a good hygiene routine at home will significantly increase your chances of having a healthy mouth and a successful root canal. Proper home care consists of brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least five times a week and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash.
Are complications likely in root canal therapy?Root canal complications are not very common. In fact, the success rate for a root canal is 95%! In most cases, root canals go smoothly, and patients are surprised at how easy the process is. Many patients end up preferring root canal treatment over other dental procedures as it is usually a gentle procedure with minimal drilling. While rare, complications can happen. The doctor will inform you before the treatment begins if they notice any potential complications. With that, the doctor will usually also present any possible root canal alternatives.
What are potential root canal complications?One of the most common complications is not being able to complete the procedure in one appointment. Sometimes, once the dentist looks inside the tooth, there can be too much inflammation and infection for the procedure to be completed. The infection can block the numbing effect of the anesthetic making it difficult for treatment to be completed comfortably. In this situation, you may be administered an antibiotic and return for a second appointment to ensure your comfort.
Are there any root canal alternatives?Unfortunately, there are not currently few root canal alternatives. Once the nerve of a tooth is infected or the tooth has died, the only options are root canal therapy or to extract the tooth. When a tooth needs a root canal, a filling or crown will not take care of the infection. While decay can be removed from the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth, the infected pulp cannot be removed this way. The infection will persist causing more discomfort and additional complications without a root canal. Having an infection in your mouth can actually cause other issues in your body. Getting rid of the infection is imperative at this point. An excellent root canal alternative is to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant vs. bridge.
Should I get an extraction instead?Extraction may seem like a more cost-effective and time-saving solution, but it should be a last resort. An extraction usually won’t be recommended by a dentist unless all other options have been exhausted. If the tooth has a poor prognosis, then extraction might be a great treatment option. However, many times a root canal can save your tooth and restore it back to normal function. It may be easy to think that you should save time and money by having the tooth pulled. However, there are other problems associated with extracting a tooth.
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- Lincoln Family Dentistry – Central Lincoln
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- Northeast Lincoln Family Dentistry – Northeast Lincoln
- Preserve Family Dentistry – East Lincoln
- Coddington Dental – West Lincoln
- NorthStar Dental – North Lincoln
- SouthPointe Dental – Southwest Lincoln
- Emergency Dentist NE – Emergency Dental Care
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