Failed Root Canal Symptoms

Root Canal

What exactly is a root canal? The visible white part of the tooth is called crown, and it is surrounded by the pink colored gum. Beneath the crown and gums runs the root canal. It extends from the tip of the tooth and then down. This canal encloses the pulp, that is made up of soft tissues, nerves and blood vessels. Treatment is needed when the pulp gets infected. The treatment removes the infected part, and thus also prevents its spread. The canal is then sealed with a filling and the tooth then functions normally. It is necessary to prevent the tooth from falling off. A root canal needs to be performed when the nerve in the canal pulp gets damaged due to trauma, or infection or decay of the tooth or due to aging.

Why Does a Root Canal Procedure Fail?

  • The possibility of an extra canal in the tooth cannot be ignored. There might be an extra root canal in the tooth which was left undetected during the procedure, and thus the infection in it stayed to spread in the pulp.
  • Other reason is that the dentist might not have calculated the length of the canal correctly, and the filling might not have reached the end of the tooth, and thus the infection stayed.
  • Some kind of obstruction can also prevent the dentist from cleaning the entire canal. And the infection just stays there and spreads.
  • Problems with the instruments used can also lead to a failed root canal.
  • The sealing of tooth must have gone wrong, and this must have caused the infection causing bacteria to reenter and spread the infection.
  • Existing cracks in the tooth which were left undetected can cause the bacteria to enter and cause infection.

Symptoms of a Failed Root Canal
Success of a root canal procedure is confirmed using an x-ray. Using x-ray, the dentist can minutely examine the tooth and detect the presence of any infection that was not cleared. Also it is not that the symptoms appear immediately, in some people the complications can appear just after the procedure, and in some people, the symptoms may take years to show. But the following symptoms after the procedure cannot be ignored. One should immediately consult the dentist, in case the below listed symptoms are noticed, to avoid future complications.

  • Swelling of gums around the operated tooth.
  • Pain in the tooth and gums, which can be severely felt while chewing.
  • Tenderness and inflammation of gums.
  • Formation of a new infection.
  • If the signs are ignored for a long time, it can lead to a tooth abscess.

These were some of the minor signs that manifest if the root canal procedure is not conducted properly. But as said earlier, only a dentist can confirm such a failure. And so you don’t need to panic, when you spot these signs. Even if it is confirmed a failure, a course of action is determined by the dentist, and it usually depends on the severity of failure. A re-treatment or an endodontic surgery is most commonly used to treat the operated tooth. So be very careful with the health of your teeth and treat it the way you treat the other parts of your body.


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