Should I have a failed root canal re-done?

Should I have a failed root canal re-done?

Sep 12, 2022

You might have experienced a situation where months or years after a root canal was performed, the tooth failed and needed to be removed. Only a small percentage of these teeth actually had a failed root canal; most failed due to a long delay in properly reinforcing the tooth with a crown, or patient’s having decay under an existing crown.

However, there is a percentage of root canals that do in fact fail. Many teeth have accessory canals that cannot be cleaned out properly, root fractures, broken instruments, calcifications and other pathologies. Your doctor may recommend a “re-treatment”; which is doing the root canal over again. However it might not be worth the extra cost and time to move ahead with this procedure due its low success rate.

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The literature research shows only about half of the endodontic failing teeth that are retreated are successful after treatment. Patients should be advised of this challenge, and the decision to retreat or remove the tooth should be a joint decision made by the patient and the doctor.

In my opinion, a procedure to save a tooth with only a coin flip of a chance to work, would not be for me. I would have the tooth removed and replaced with a dental implant which has a 95% chance of success. No need to roll the dice on your teeth; discuss the options with your doctor.

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