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Can Root Canal Treatment Fail? Understanding the Basics

If you have already had a root canal in Lombard but your tooth still hurts, you may be wondering if your treatment was successful. Can root canal treatment fail? Should you see a dentist for a follow-up appointment? The office of Dr. Brett Blacher is here to help you understand your oral health and answer any questions you may have. 

Can Root Canal Treatment Fail? 

Yes, it’s possible for root canal treatment to fail. This procedure involves opening up your tooth and cleaning out infected material, then disinfecting and filling the tooth to remove the source of the infection and restore your tooth.

If your dentist does not perform the treatment properly and leaves decayed material and bacteria behind, the treatment can fail. The bacteria may continue to infect and destroy your teeth. 

Even when the procedure is performed perfectly, this may also happen due to issues like undetected canal breaches, obstructions that make it hard to clean the root of the tooth properly, or cracks in the root. While proper x-rays and oral exams can detect these issues, they may sometimes still occur. However, it’s still relatively rare for root canal treatment to fail. Root canal treatment has a 95% success rate

Recognizing the Signs That a Root Canal Has Failed 

The most common sign that a root canal treatment has failed is continued pain and discomfort in the treated tooth. A little bit of soreness and is typical after treatment and may persist for 1-3 days after your treatment. 

However, if you continue to experience severe pain for 3-7 days or longer after your treatment, this indicates that your root canal treatment may have failed. The oral bacteria may be continuing to attack your tooth and destroy the nerve-filled pulp that supports your tooth.

Other symptoms include continued swelling of the area around your tooth and sensitivity to heat, cold, and the pressure of chewing. 

Endodontic Retreatment for a Failed Root Canal 

If your root canal does fail, it’s usually still possible to save your tooth. If you come to the office of Dr. Brett Blacher, we’ll take x-rays and determine why the initial treatment failed, identifying any potential hidden issues.

Then, the restoration and filling material in your tooth must be removed. After this, Dr. Blacher will examine the interior of your tooth, and search for any additional issues that may have caused your treatment to fail. The entire tooth will be cleaned, disinfected, and restored again, with care taken to completely eliminate the entire infection.

In rare cases, endodontic surgery such as an apicoectomy may be recommended, depending on the results of your initial oral exam. 

Need a Root Canal in Lombard? Choose Dr. Brett Blacher! 

As an experienced endodontist, Dr. Brett Blacher can ensure that your initial root canal treatment is successful, or assist you with endodontic retreatment if your initial treatment has failed. To learn more and get started, just contact us at (630) 916-0701, or stop by our office at 450 E 22nd St, #201, Lombard, IL 60148. We hope to see you soon. 

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