Failed Root Canal: What Are My Options?

Under normal circumstances, root canal therapy is a highly effective procedure that can save your smile and protect you from possible oral health problems down the line. According to industry statistics, root canal therapy has a success rate of over 95%, so in most cases it gets the job done. However, even the most routine procedures have potential complications or a chance of failure, and a root canal (also known as endodontic treatment) is no exception.

The good news is that there are a number of options available to help fix your tooth and save your smile in the rare instance when a root canal doesn’t work as it should. Our dentist, Dr. Mark Ranzinger, and the dental team at Blakeney Dental offer a range of dentistry services and solutions for a failed root canal at our office in Charlotte, North Carolina.

What can go wrong

Despite the many rumors and horror stories to the contrary, a root canal is a fairly straightforward procedure. In fact, it’s actually fairly similar to getting a filling for a cavity in terms of the process and the level of pain and discomfort you can expect to feel. A successful root canal actually alleviates the pain caused by an infected or inflamed tooth, and is meant to save your tooth from possible extraction and further dental work in the future. 

But complications are always a possibility with any dental procedure. One of the most common complications with root canal therapy is lingering or new bacteria growth, which can lead to more pain and a new infection. A root canal involves cleaning out the inside of the tooth and removing damaged and infected pulp tissue, so if a second procedure is needed, it usually also means Dr. Ranzinger will have to remove the filling material and any crowns or restorations that were used to seal the tooth after the root canal and then replace them.

Sometimes a tooth can have an additional crack or fracture that goes undetected during the initial procedure, making it possible for new bacteria to enter the tooth and cause a new infection or inflammation. 

Another possible complication is that the materials used to seal the tooth can wear down over time, allowing new bacteria to grow. 

Fixing a failed root canal

The first thing you should do is contact us as soon as you notice any signs of complications such as pain, swelling, bleeding, or signs of an infection. We offer emergency dentistry services at our Charlotte office, so you won’t have to wait days or weeks to see the dentist if you require treatment right away. Depending on the type and severity of the complications you’re experiencing, Dr. Ranzinger will remove additional damaged tissue and bacteria and replace defective restorations and fillings if necessary.

How to lower your risk of complications

Sometimes complications are inevitable, but you can do a few things to lower your risk. First, always follow all post-op instructions and make sure to keep all of your follow-up appointments after treatment. A good oral hygiene routine is also key to lowering your general risk of oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

A failed root canal is not the end of the story. For more information about your treatment options and alternatives, call us today to schedule an appointment, or you can request an appointment online. 

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