Blog Post

What Happens When A Root Canal Gets Complicated

Feb 20, 2017

Trust us, it happens. Although a root canal treatment will certainly repair and restore, in a lot of cases save a badly damaged or infected tooth, a root canal can also become infected for a number of reasons.

What is a root canal?

Root canals involve the removal of damaged areas of the tooth (pulp). Then the area is cleaned and disinfected. Lastly, a filling and a seal is added, protecting the overall area, helping to prevent further damage or infection. Cracked teeth, deep cavities, repeated dental treatments, as well as trauma are likely contributors to needing a root canal.
So why would a root canal become infected after all of these measures are taken? The roots can’t be 100% sterilized or 100% filled. Pockets of potentially harmful bacteria can be sealed away in the tiny crevices, making your tooth a safe haven for germs.

How can a root canal fail?

Root canals can fail for any of several reasons. Bacteria can reinfect the tooth or fail to be completely removed during the process, which causes and multiplies pain. Fillings can produce leaks.

A repeat root canal treatment will likely be more time consuming than the first. Your dentist will have to remove the crown, the post, as well as the core and filling material in addition to performing a second root canal. Endodontic surgery can also be inevitable in severe cases.

What is endodontic surgery?

It involves an incision in the gum near the base of the tissue, where your endodontist will clean out infected tissue around the tip of the root, shaving off the tip through the incision. Your skilled endodontist will clean the inside of the canal from the root end, finishing up by putting a filling in the end of the root. Lastly, the incision is stitched. These procedures yield successful results around 85% of the time.

Contact New York City Endodontics if you are experiencing pain after your root canal and feel like you might be experiencing infection.