Failed Root Canal Procedures: Complications, Causes & Treatments

However, root canal treatment may fail, or you might feel a certain discomfort and even pain after the treatment and this is the first sign that the treatment is not successful. So what are some other possible complications with root canal therapy?

If you experience swelling and discomfort at the site of the tooth which was treated, it is time to call your dentist again. There are two main reasons for which root canal treatment can fail:
-the dentist has not cleansed properly the entire infected area, and infection persists
-the dental seal created by the dentist is not effective in locking all the outside contaminants entering the dental canal area.

You need to keep in mind that teeth with root canal treatment performed will never be the same strong and healthy as they used to be. Of course when you are struggling with a bad abscess, the dentist will first suggest trying to save the tooth with a root canal treatment. In many cases when the dentist himself notices there is damage almost beyond repair present, he will not put you through such a complex treatment, but suggest dental extraction and getting a crown for your missing tooth.

Root canal treatments failures main causes

The tooth might have more root canals than the dentist anticipated. In such cases, the infected pulp can actually cause complications again to the tooth, after the treatment.

Horizontal dental branches are extremely difficult to reach and cleanse properly. If the dentist does not manage to cleanse the infection properly with the endodontic file, problems might occur after root canal therapy.

If there is a tiny crack in the root of the tooth which goes unnoticed by the dentist, after some time the bacteria can seep in and reinfection of the tooth occurs. This is when you will need to go again to the dentist, because abscess will cause complications.

The root of the tooth can be accidentally perforated with the endodontic file. If that tiny crack is not sealed properly, bacteria can enter there and cause abscess.

Rarely, but it might happen that the endodontic file breaks inside the dental canal. This endodontic file is used by the dentist to cleanse the abscess, but in case the instrument will actually break while the dentist performs canal shaping (after cleaning has already happened), the dentist might seal the tooth without noticing that the fragments remained inside. Then, in case the dentist has noticed the tiny fragment but it cannot be removed effortlessly, endodontic surgery is needed (called apicoectomy- or root end surgery)

So if the root canal therapy will fail, there will be needed a root canal re-treatment, possible apicoectomy or as a final solution extraction of the tooth. It is extremely important to choose a highly skilled and experienced dentist when you need root canal therapy in order to lower the risk of all these complications.