How Do You Know if Your Root Canal Failed?

How Do You Know if Your Root Canal Failed?

February 1, 2024

Signs of Root Canal Treatment Failure

You may have some symptoms after your root canal treatment, but they should not last for more than a few days. Your mouth may be healing from the dental work. If you are not sure, you can call your dentist near you to check.

However, if you have symptoms that last for more than a week, you may have a failed root canal. Some of the symptoms are:

Sensitivity to heat or cold – Your teeth may be sensitive after a root canal, but it should get better with time. In about a week, you should not feel any sensitivity. If you still feel pain or discomfort when you eat or drink something hot or cold, you may need to see your dentist again.

Pain and tenderness – You should not have any pain after your root canal. If you do, it may mean that something is wrong with your tooth. Pay attention to the type and intensity of your pain, whether it is sharp, throbbing, or dull, and tell your dentist.

Swelling – You may notice some swelling in your gums around the treated tooth. This could be a sign of an infection or an abscess. Sometimes, the swelling may look like a bump on your gum above the tooth.

Discoloration on the treated tooth – Your tooth may change color after a root canal. It may look darker or grayish. This could be a sign of decay or damage. If your tooth looks different than before, you should be concerned.

Reasons for a Failed Root Canal

A root canal can fail in case the infection in the tooth is not completely removed.

A mistake by the dentist – Dentists are trained and experienced, but they can make errors sometimes.

A dental injury – You may injure your tooth after a root canal. This can cause your tooth to crack or break. This can let the infection back into your tooth.

Complex tooth structures – Some people have complicated root canals that are hard to treat. This can make the root canal unsuccessful.

Saliva contamination – Saliva is good for your oral health, but it also has bacteria. If saliva gets into your root canal before it is filled and sealed, it can cause infection.

What to Do If Your Root Canal Failed?

Discovering that your root canal has failed can be disheartening, but swift action is crucial to save your tooth and prevent further complications. Recognizing the signs may take weeks or even months, making it imperative to stay vigilant for any unusual symptoms. Once you identify potential issues, contacting your dentist promptly is essential, as a failed root canal won’t resolve itself.

Here are some ways to deal with a failed root canal:

Dental X-rays: Your dentist in Pleasant Hill, such as Grafton Dental, will initiate the diagnosis by taking a digital x-ray of the affected tooth. This enables a comprehensive view of the problem, aiding in determining the exact nature of the issue and formulating an appropriate course of action.

Apicoectomy: If the X-rays reveal persistent infection or complications, an apicoectomy may be recommended. This surgical procedure includes removing the tip of the root through the gums, targeting the source of the problem more directly. This can be an effective way to eliminate the infection and salvage the tooth.

Re-treatment: In some cases, a re-treatment of the root canal in Pleasant Hill may be necessary. This involves reopening the tooth, removing the existing filling, and meticulously cleaning the canal. The goal is to ensure the complete elimination of any remaining infection and to seal the canal effectively to prevent future issues.

Tooth Extraction: If all efforts to save the tooth fail, tooth extraction becomes the last option. While not the desired outcome, it may be necessary to prevent the spread of infection to surrounding teeth and tissues. Following extraction, your dentist will discuss replacement options, such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures.

In conclusion, a failed root canal demands swift and appropriate action. Dental professionals will employ diagnostic tools like X-rays to pinpoint the issue and then choose the most suitable treatment option, ranging from a second root canal to surgical intervention or, in extreme cases, tooth extraction. Timely intervention is key to preserving your oral health and preventing further complications.