What Is The Success Rate Of Root Canals?

What Is The Success Rate Of Root Canals?

Jun 01, 2023

When your tooth’s pulp (innermost chamber) is infected or decayed, root canal therapy is often necessary to remove the infected tissues and prevent further damage to the tooth. Otherwise, decay would continue to eat up the tooth’s structure, eventually leading to tooth loss and other complications like bone loss and gum infections.

Despite its high success rate and effectiveness, a root canal can sometimes fail due to various factors. In this guide, let’s discuss the success rate of root canal therapy and post-recovery care tips to ensure the best outcome out of your treatment.

How successful is Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal treatments generally have a higher long-term success rate of about 70-85%, depending on the various factors. A successful root canal treatment is essential to alleviate tooth discomfort, save the tooth, and prevent infections in the surrounding structures like the gums and bone.

Below are common factors that can affect the success rate of your root canal therapy:

  1. The severity of your condition : If a significant part of the tooth’s structure is damaged, there’s a higher chance of root canal failure than a tooth with less damage.
  2. The complexity of the procedure : Certain teeth, like molars, contain a more complex root canal anatomy than others. Thus, there’s a higher chance of bacteria being left behind, increasing the risk of root canal failure.
  3. Dentist’s or endodontist’s skills : A skilled dentist or endodontist with many years of experience is more likely to achieve a successful root canal treatment than a less experienced one.
  4. Final restoration : After a root canal, reinforcing the tooth with a permanent filling or crown can help strengthen and protect it against infections and fractures. Not getting a restoration or getting it too late increases the risk of new infections, significantly lowering the long-term success of your root canal.
  5. Patient’s oral hygiene habits : Excellent oral hygiene, like regular brushing and flossing, is necessary to prevent reinfection in the tooth canals and improve the chances of long-term root canal success.
  6. Age of the tooth : Over time, teeth wear out, making them more susceptible to fractures and infections. Root canal therapy on an aging tooth has a higher chance of failure than on a young tooth.

Signs of Root Canal Therapy Failure

Below are common signs that can indicate your root canal has failed:

  • Darkening or discoloration of the tooth
  • Pain, pressure, or sensitivity in the treated tooth, especially when biting down
  • A pass-filled pimple or abscess near the treated tooth
  • Swelling near the treated tooth
  • Persistent redness or tenderness in the gums near the treated tooth
  • Facial or neck swelling

Visit our endodontist near you if your tooth canal has failed. The dentist or endodontist will provide the necessary treatments to address your needs. In most cases, the dentist can perform a root canal retreatment to save and protect your tooth. If the tooth is extremely damaged or decayed beyond repair, our dentist in Seattle can recommend alternative treatments like tooth extraction and tooth replacement treatments like bridges, implants, and dentures.

Root Canal Therapy Post-recovery

After root canal therapy, it’s normal to experience minor side effects like pain, swelling, and discomfort. Below are several tips for managing your symptoms and improving your chances of long-term success after a root canal:

  • Take medication as prescribed : After a root canal, your dentist can prescribe medications to manage discomfort, inflammation, and infections. Take the medicine as directed for faster healing and a successful root canal.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene : Practice good habits to prevent reinfections and promote a successful root canal.
  • Schedule routine dental checkups and cleanings : Routine dental checkups and cleanings allow the dentist to monitor your treated tooth and mouth for issues and address them to prevent further damage. The dentist will also clean your teeth and mouth to lower your risk of oral infections.
  • Proper restoration : The tooth is significantly weakened after a root canal, making it more susceptible to fractures and infections and increasing your chances of root canal failure. Getting a permanent filling or crown can help protect and strengthen your tooth and improve the success of your root canal.
  • Proper diet: Since your tooth is more prone to fractures and infections after a root canal, chewing hard or crunchy foods can affect the longevity of your root canal.

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