Having a root canal is already uncomfortable and even downright painful – but what happens if your root canal fails? Don’t panic! We put together this handy guide to talk you through your failed root canal and find out where you go from here.

Why can a Root Canal fail?

Failed root canal treatment is not as uncommon as dentists would like it to be. Toothache after root canal treatment is often the first symptom that something has gone wrong. Of course, once the numbness has worn off you should experience a little soreness, but if that pain gets worse instead of better then you may be suffering from a failed root canal.

Root canal, sometimes called endodontic treatment, can fail for several reasons. According to the Us National Library of Medicine these reasons include:

• Inappropriate Mechanical Debridement (a process rarely used nowadays, Science Direct).
• Bacterial buildup in the canals and apex (areas within the tooth or root).
• Bad obturation (the root canal wasn’t sealed properly and became infected).
• Coronal Leakage (which happens as bacteria and debris seep into the root canal over time). This tends to be the main cause of a root canal that fails long after it has been successfully implanted.
• Over and Under extension of the root canal filling (The canal has been filled too much or not enough, leaving uneven exposure of the base).

In some cases a root canal performed years beforehand can fail without warning. In other cases a root canal may need to be removed because the crown has broken off and the materials used to construct the filling have become soft and worn away. In all cases you will need to seek your dentist for treatment as soon as you possibly can or risk an abscess, infection or worse.

My Root Canal Failed – what next?

Toothache after root canal surgery is not uncommon but if it is an intense pan or if it does not lessen over time then you need to visit your dentist. Tooth extraction after root canal surgery may be the only way to safely heal your mouth. In this instance the dentist may want to prescribe either pain killers or antibiotics to ensure you are able to manage until your extraction date. Extraction may be the only way to stop the infection spreading to your jawbone so seek treatment at once.

Failed root canal treatment is a pain but it is easily manageable if you seek the right help. If you have any questions or queries about other dental conditions then please visit us to find out all you ever needed to know about your oral health!

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