Do you have a tooth that’s infected or badly decayed? Your dentist might recommend root canal treatment. Root canal procedures have a 95% success rate.

Unfortunately, choosing an inexperienced dentist could leave you among the 5% with a botched root canal. Root canal failure can lead to complications if you don’t seek treatment.

What are the causes, and how can you improve your oral health after a bad root canal? Read on to find out.

What Is Root Canal Failure?

Root canals are designed to remove an infection from a decayed or diseased tooth. If a dentist isn’t thorough, the infection can linger. However, it could take weeks or months before patients notice signs of a botched root canal.

Symptoms include:

  • A boil on the jaw
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when biting down
  • Tenderness in the gum tissue
  • Pus-filled abscesses
  • Swelling near the tooth
  • Facial or neck swelling

Mild pain after a root canal procedure is normal. Patients can experience discomfort for a few days after treatment. If the pain continues longer than that, it could indicate a problem.

A dentist will schedule X-rays to look for signs of a failed root canal. 

The infection won’t heal on its own. Patients need to seek treatment for a botched root canal right away. 

Root Canal Failure Causes

A root canal might fail for multiple reasons, including a structural abnormality or unexpected development. A dentist might also miss one of the patient’s canals.

In some cases, a traumatic dental injury can cause a crack. A crack or fracture could infect the tooth’s root.

A dentist can miss a canal if the patient has complex root canal structures. They might not clean it out properly, causing the infection to linger. 

An obstruction can also lead to a failed root canal. For example, perhaps something was in the way when the dentist cleaned the canal. Filling material, sealants, or another tooth could obstruct their view. 

A dentist might delay the placement of a dental crown after a root canal procedure. Allowing time between procedures could give the infection a chance to form. If a crown is broken or lost, it could lead to another infection. 

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Treating a failed root canal will depend on the infection’s severity.

A dentist might recommend retreatment. They’ll reclean the canals and look for any canals they missed in the past.

They might recommend an apicoectomy. During the procedure, they’ll make a small opening in the gums to access the root. They’ll clean the root and apply sealing material.

In severe cases, a dentist might extract the tooth and replace it with an implant.  

Seek Treatment After a Failed Root Canal

It’s important to seek treatment after root canal failure to avoid complications. If these symptoms sound familiar, visit a dentist right away.

If you’re a dentist who botched a procedure, continue expanding your knowledge to improve your practice. 

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