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How Long Do Root Canals Last?


Diagram of tooth showing tooth rootYour teeth are incredibly strong. However, they are not indestructible. Physical damage and decay can compromise their structural integrity and leave them vulnerable to infections. When an infection develops, it is important that you seek treatment right away. Shenandoah Family Dentistry can treat a tooth infection with a root canal. However, how long with your root canal last?

What is a Root Canal?


A root canal is a procedure that is performed to get rid of infection inside of your tooth. This procedure involves drilling a small hole into the top of the infected tooth. Next, the pulp and the nerve are removed, and the canals inside of the tooth are shaped and cleaned. The entire tooth is cleaned and disinfected. We then place a special material called gutta percha inside of the tooth to seal the canals and place a crown on the tooth for additional protection and strength.

Benefits of a Root Canal


A root canal provides many significant benefits. These benefits include:
•  Eliminating the infection from the tooth.
•  Alleviating pain.
•  Improving your oral health.
•  Preventing the need for tooth extraction.

How Long Does a Root Canal Last?


Root canal treatment has a very high success rate. By removing the infection from the tooth, we can alleviate your pain and restore your oral health, all while leaving the tooth in its socket. By restoring your tooth, you avoid the need for extraction and replacement. Root canals can last for many years. In many cases, they can even last a lifetime.

Factors that Can Affect Your Root Canal


While root canals have a very high rate of success, there are a few factors that can impact their success. These factors include:
•  Missing canals inside of the tooth during your initial treatment. This leaves bacteria behind that can begin to multiply again after your treatment is complete. This may happen because you have complex tooth anatomy.
•  Saliva gets inside of your tooth during your initial root canal. This contaminates the area, allowing bacteria inside.
•  Your final dental crown is not placed soon enough. Following your root canal, your tooth is prepared for a crown. While you wait for your final crown to be completed, a temporary crown is provided. While the temporary crown provides some protection, it is not a long-term solution. Too long between your root canal and the placement of your final crown increases the chances of a new infection.
•  Your final crown is placed incorrectly. This can leave the tooth vulnerable to new bacterial invasion.
•  You suffer dental trauma or an oral injury that damages the crown. If your crown becomes damaged, new bacteria can get inside and re-infect the tooth.

What if My Root Canal Fails?


If your root canal fails, it is important to get treatment right away; In many cases, the infected tooth can retreat. To do this, we first need to remove the crown. Next, the tooth is cleaned out again, and a new crown is placed.

In some cases, an apicoectomy may be recommended. These treatments are performed to help save your tooth and prevent the need for tooth extraction. In many cases, a retreated tooth can be saved, and the treatment can last a lifetime.
A root canal is an effective treatment for eliminating infection in your tooth and restoring your oral health. In many cases, a root canal can last a lifetime. However, if you notice symptoms of root canal failure, call Shenandoah Family Dentistry at (540) 773-0011 to schedule an appointment today.


Shenandoah Family Dentistry | www.winchestersmiles.com | (540) 773-0011
1705 Amherst St #102, Winchester, VA 22601
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