Root Canals: How Long Do They Last?

Root Canal


Root canals can provide an effective way to treat a tooth infection. This procedure removes infected tissue from inside your tooth, easing inflammation and other symptoms. Having a root canal done also helps prevent complications, such as a serious infection that puts your health at risk. How long can you expect the results to last, though? Knowing more about the lifespan of root canals can help you understand more about this procedure.

Importance of Choosing an Endodontist

When you need a root canal, you might find that some dentists can perform this procedure. However, choosing an endodontist has certain advantages that can affect the outcome of your root canal. Endodontists have specialized training in performing root canals and other endodontic procedures. This helps ensure that they’re done correctly and safely. Having an endodontist handle your root canal can also help ensure a successful procedure. Endodontists use the latest endodontic equipment for these procedures, while also having the right training. This can lead to a longer lifespan for your root canal and a lower chance of having it fail.

Factors Affecting a Root Canal’s Longevity

How long does a root canal last? This can depend on multiple factors, including how soon you have it done after an infection starts and which tooth is being treated. In general, teeth treated with this procedure can last for several years. A 2022 study showed that teeth that had a root canal, filling, and crown lasted for 20 years. Keep in mind that this procedure helps save your natural tooth, so that you don’t need it extracted. The following are some of the main factors that can affect the length of time a root canal lasts.

When Treatment Is Done

When you have an infected tooth, having a root canal done sooner rather than later can help it last longer. Waiting to have this procedure done often means having a higher risk of complications. For example, infections can spread and become more difficult to successfully treat with a root canal. If you have any signs of a tooth infection, such as pain and increased sensitivity, it’s important to seek care and see if it’s time for a root canal.

Patient’s Age

The older you are, the more vulnerable your teeth are to breaking or sustaining other damage. This can cause a root canal to have a shorter lifespan. You might need to have dental crowns placed on the affected teeth rather than treating them with fillings if they crack or break after a root canal.

Quality of Root Canal and Restoration

Choosing an experienced endodontist is important to help ensure quality. Otherwise, you might have an increased risk of ending up with a failed root canal. Keep in mind that your tooth will need some kind of protection to lower the risk of getting infected again. The quality of this restoration also affects how long your root canal lasts. High-quality permanent dental crowns or fillings are needed to reduce your risk of tooth infections.

Type of Tooth That’s Treated

The location of your treated tooth can affect the lifespan of a root canal. Bicuspids and other teeth in the front of your mouth are easier to treat with this type of procedure. This carries a lower risk of failure and complications. Molars have a higher risk, since they’re more complicated to treat. These teeth in the back of your mouth have more roots. They also experience more stress and pressure overall due to chewing. This can raise the risk of having damage or other problems occur after a root canal.

Prompt Care for Root Canal Problems

If you have any issues with your tooth after a root canal, it’s important to seek care as soon as possible. Having these problems addressed promptly can help your root canal last for a longer time. Delaying care for these issues can raise the risk of having a root canal fail before reaching its expected lifespan.

What to Do If a Root Canal Fails

If your root canal fails, you might need retreatment. This procedure is done in order to remove infected tissue and lower the risk of having infections occur again. Retreatment involves reopening the affected tooth, eliminating infected tissue, and cleaning the canals. You’ll then have new fillings placed inside the canals and receive a temporary filling or crown to seal the tooth. Once the tooth heals, you can have permanent restoration done to keep it safe from bacteria and infections.

If you think you might need a root canal, please contact Largo Endodontics for an appointment. Dr. Ernest Rillman, our endodontist, can evaluate the affected tooth to determine if you need a root canal. If you have a failed root canal, Dr, Rillman can discuss retreatment as an option.