Does getting a root canal work?

Having tooth pain? It’s possible that you’ll need root canal therapy to remedy the issue. However, some have had bad experiences with root canal treatment in the past. Root canal success may not be perfect, but at Northstar, it is excellent. We know that isn’t the case with every dental office though.

In most cases, yes, getting a root canal goes over very smoothly. When the procedure is unsuccessful, it’s usually due to factors beyond the dentist’s control and has nothing to do with the quality of treatment. Many of our patients have received dental work in the past that hasn’t held up as long as they had hoped. We’re available to remediate problems like this, and root canals are one of our bread and butter treatments. Learn more about root canal success below. You can also learn from WedMD here.


root canal success patient

Reasons a root canal could fail:


Root canal success can be compromised if 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. If left untreated, cracks can cause serious decay, ultimately leading to more extensive dental work.



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 Canal

The best 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 five times a week, and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash. Root canal success depends on good homecare.

Frequently Asked Questions about Root Canal Success

More often than not, root canal therapy goes over very smoothly. With that being said, patients often have good questions about the process, the end result, and whether they should see a dentist or endodontist – root canal specialist. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions about root canal therapy.

Is it safe to have a root canal with a compromised immune system?

It is. With a compromised immune system, the decay that remains in a tooth before treatment has a huge impact on your immune system. Having root canal therapy will remove the source of this decay. Incidentally, fewer bacteria from your mouth will work against your immune system. So having a root canal treatment performed will significantly benefit your overall health.

Should I see an endodontist or root canal specialist for a root canal?

Not necessarily, but you can! Root canal therapy has become a routine procedure for our team. However, in severe cases, we do refer our patients to root canal specialists. If you’d prefer to work with an endodontist, we’re happy to refer you too! Communicate your needs and desires with our team, and we’ll work hard to make sure you get what you need.

Does dental insurance cover the cost of my root canal?

In most cases, yes. Dental insurance covers most root canals to some extent. Usually, however, insurance companies will only cover a certain amount per year. The best defense against going above your insurance budget is to take care of your teeth as best as possible. This will help you avoid extensive dental treatments and other extra costs.

Do I need to take off of work for my root canal?

It’s worth taking off the day of your treatment at the least. After the procedure, your mouth will be numb. So, if your job involves a lot of talking you should at least take off the day of treatment. If it doesn’t you may be able to go back to work after the procedure. Before deciding whether or not to take work off, you should be aware that the results of your root canal can be slightly unpredictable in terms of discomfort and pain.

Is it normal to feel pain after root canal therapy?

After your root canal, you can expect to feel a mild amount of pain or discomfort. If your pain lasts longer than a few days, or is more than moderately painful, be sure to let us know. It’s possible for other things to go wrong, and we want to catch these problems as soon as possible if other things have gone wrong.

I had a root canal in the past, and the tooth is beginning to hurt again. What should I do?

If you’re having pain from a past root canal, you should see your dentist right away. This typically signifies a bigger problem with your tooth. If there is a bigger problem, it’s essential that you see a dentist as soon as possible. Certain oral health problems can grow exponentially if they aren’t taken care of promptly.


To set up an appointment with Northstar or any of our sister locations, you can call us at 402-742-0000 or use the form below.


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