False Teeth - Making the Right Choices

What To Do If A Root Canal Fails

There's a lot of reasons why your root canal procedure might have failed. If your dental hygiene hasn't been perfect, then you're the most likely culprit, but root canals can also fail if low quality sealing materials have cracked or leaked. Luckily, root canals only fail 5-15% of the time, so your chances are excellent, as long as you follow your doctor's instructions. For the few of us who have had a root canal failure, there are some things you can do.


Many of the canals in our teeth, especially the ones in our molars, are very complex systems. It can be difficult for doctors to get to infections in smaller and curved canals. If your root canal fails for this reason, retreatment might be a good option. Root canal surgeries require a lot of deft skill, so if you were unsatisfied with your doctor it might be time to do some research and find another.

Endodontic Surgery

Re-doing a root canal can be risky business. If your dentist doesn't think that it's worth the risks, he or she may recommend endodontic surgery, either from an oral surgeon or endodontist. One procedure your endodontist can perform is called an apicoectomy. It involves making an incision at the base of the tooth, through which your surgeon can remove infected tissue and fill the end of the root. Unfortunately, this kind of surgery usually isn't done on molars, which are often the most complicated root canals to perform. The good news is that an apicoectomy is successful a good deal of the time.

Dental Implants

If neither of these options are possible or successful, you may lose any affected teeth. With dental implants you can use tooth extraction for the tooth and have it replaced with a sturdy implant. A good percentage of teeth treated for a root canal will be lost at some point anyway, so why not avoid a problem later down the line and get tooth extraction and a dental implant? Dental implants are either attached to your jawbone or beneath your gum, so worries about teeth or crowns falling out are wasted. Implants generally have a very high success rate.

If your root canal failed, you're probably pretty frustrated. After your next surgery, don't forget to avoid smoking, keep proper hygiene, and follow all of your dentist's instructions in order to ensure the success of your procedure.