When a tooth becomes infected or decaying, a root canal may be necessary to remove the afflicted nerve and pulp. Root canals are usually performed when an infected tooth presents symptoms requiring immediate treatment, such as intense pain.

One of the most common endodontic procedures is root canal therapy. If the treatment is completed successfully, you will not have to be concerned about your tooth being infected again. A failed root canal is unusual, but it is conceivable.

What Is a Root Canal That Did Not Work?

When the original surgery fails to remove all of the infection, or the tooth becomes infected again, the root canal has failed. A botched root canal may take weeks, months, or even years to manifest. If you’ve already undergone root canal therapy, you may be familiar with infection symptoms such as tooth discoloration, gum pimples, or swelling.

If not treated, the infection may spread to other teeth. Saving your tooth becomes more difficult, but it is still possible if you consult an endodontist immediately.

When a Root Canal Fails, What Happens Next?

A root canal failure may go unnoticed at first. Some people have no signs or symptoms of a failed root canal, whilst others’ symptoms may differ from those reported before the first root canal. Regardless of the symptoms, pulp infection does not heal on its own; intervention and therapy are required.

What Are the Symptoms of a Failed Root Canal Procedure?

The following are the symptoms of root canal failure:

  • Biting down requires a high degree of sensitivity;
  • A pimple or boil on your gums;
  • Teeth discoloration;
  • Tenderness in the gum tissue near the root canal;
  • Pain in the tooth you recently had fixed;
  • Abscesses with pus near the treated tooth;
  • Facial or cervical swelling;
  • Gum swelling surrounding the damaged tooth.

Remember that a little soreness following a root canal is normal; you may feel discomfort for days. You should be concerned if the discomfort lasts a long time, disrupting your daily life and making you unwilling to perform regular chores such as eating and chewing.

Your endodontist may conduct a dental X-ray to confirm the root canal failure. Without therapy, a failed root canal will not improve. It is crucial to get a diagnosis for your problem so that you can receive the appropriate therapy.

What Is the Root Canal Failure Rate?

Only a small percentage of root canals fail. The surgery has a success rate of 86 to 98 percent, implying that it fails only 2-14 percent of the time. The low failure rate reflects the treatment method’s overall efficacy.

What Causes Root Canals to Fail?

Root canals can fail due to a dentist’s error, a structural flaw, or an unanticipated event. A dentist, for example, may overlook one of your canals or postpone the placement of a dental crown. Traumatic oral injuries, a blockage, or salivary contamination are all potential causes of a failed root canal.

  • Dental trauma

A fracture or break in the affected tooth may lead to a root infection. Root canal structure varies among patients, with some having curved or narrow channels. There is a potential you will require more canals than the dentist anticipated. If your dentist ignores or fails to thoroughly clean one of these canals, you may get an infection.

  • Obstruction

Something may have impeded the dentist’s attempts to clean the damaged canal. Obstructions can include another tooth, filling material, or poorly applied sealants.

  • Saliva contamination

Bacteria can grow in saliva and spread throughout the mouth. A second infection could arise if saliva and germs contaminate the inside of your tooth.

  • Dental crown placement

Your dentist may have delayed placing a dental crown following your root canal treatment, allowing an infection to develop. If the crown is loose or damaged, the tooth could become infected again.

Is It Possible to Repair a Failed Root Canal?

Yes, unsuccessful root canals can be corrected. Your endodontist can provide retreatment, extraction with a dental implant, or apicoectomy. Retreatment, the most popular treatment option for failed root canals, has the highest success rate. Your endodontist will treat the infection before filling and sealing the tooth to keep it intact.

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