Failed root canals
How often does a root canal fail?
If root canal treatment (also known as endodontic treatment) is carried out to a good standard, the success rate can be up to 90%. In some cases, good root canal treatment can save a tooth indefinitely, potentially for a person’s lifetime. Some teeth, depending on specific issues, may benefit from root canal treatment but, further issues down the line, such as the tooth cracking or developing decay, may mean the tooth requires further treatment, despite the good care of dental professionals throughout.
However, there are some circumstances in which root canal treatment fails due to the negligence of a dentist. Sometimes the infected pulp is not properly removed, the root canals not cleaned fully, or a number of other errors may occur. If the procedure fails to provide a long-term solution and the patient requires further treatment, this often results in extraction of the tooth entirely.
What are the symptoms of a failed root canal?
The most noticeable sign of a failed root canal is usually pain. If a root canal is carried out successfully, there should only be mild discomfort for few days or so afterwards, at most. If the pain continues or worsens after this, it can be a sign of the presence of bacteria in the root canal starting to cause an infection.
If there is swelling inside the mouth or facial swelling around the area, it could be a sign of reinfection.
Pus or discharge around the treated tooth can mean that an abscess has formed, and this is sometimes (but not always) accompanied by pain in the root canal area.
If you had a crown or filling on the treated tooth, this may break, leak or fall out.
Experiencing any one, or more, of these symptoms after root canal treatment is a sign that you should see a dentist at the earliest opportunity to treat the cause of any infection and see what can be done with the root canal. An x-ray at your dentist’s practice should show whether the procedure has failed.
Does a failed root canal always result in extraction?
If you have experienced a failed root canal, there may be several options open to you, depending on the specific circumstances involved.
It may be possible to have a second conventional root canal procedure carried out, which, if successful, could potentially save the tooth.
There may be a way to treat the issue with a surgical procedure in some cases.
Extraction is usually the last resort for a failed root canal, but sometimes is the only treatment option left.
If you have experienced a failed root canal procedure that you believe was due to the negligence of your dentist, you may be eligible to make a compensation claim. Contact us to discuss your options and for free initial legal advice, on 0808 231 5116.