When Root Canals Goes Wrong

When Root Canals Goes Wrong

While root canals are typically successful in saving damaged teeth, there are instances where complications can arise, leading to a failed root canal. Root canals are one of the most common endodontic procedures. 

When performed successfully, they can protect your tooth from sustaining another infection. While not all root canal therapy works, you can explore options to support healing if you have had a failed root canal. 

Signs and Symptoms of a Failed Root Canal 

If you’ve undergone a root canal procedure, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms that indicate a failed treatment. Look out for the following:

  1. Persistent pain in the treated tooth
  2. Swelling and tenderness around the tooth or gum area
  3. Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  4. Recurring or new abscesses
  5. Discoloration or darkening of the tooth


Understanding the underlying causes of a failed root canal can shed light on why such complications occur. Common causes include:

  1. Incomplete cleaning and disinfection of the root canals
  2. Undetected or untreated extra canals
  3. Development of new infections or recontamination
  4. Fractured or cracked tooth structure
  5. Improper placement or sealing of the dental restoration


When a root canal fails, it can have significant consequences for your dental health. Some potential effects include:

  1. Formation of abscesses or cysts
  2. Recurrence of pain and discomfort
  3. Bone loss around the affected tooth
  4. Spread of infection to neighboring teeth
  5. Possible loss of the tooth, necessitating extraction

Treatment Options for a Failed Root Canal 

Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to address a failed root canal. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the complication. Consider the following options:

  1. Root canal retreatment: A second attempt to clean, disinfect, and seal the root canals properly.
  2. Apicoectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the infection at the root tip.
  3. Tooth extraction: In cases of severe damage or recurrent failure, removing the tooth may be necessary.
  4. Restorative options: After extraction, replacement options like dental implants or bridges can restore function and aesthetics.

Prevention of Failed Root Canal 

Prevention is always better than dealing with a failed root canal. Consider these preventive measures to minimize the risk:

  1. Choose an experienced endodontist for your root canal procedure.
  2. Maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly.
  3. Attend regular dental checkups for early detection and intervention.
  4. Address any dental issues promptly, such as tooth decay or cracks.

Take away

A failed root canal can be a challenging dental situation, but with the right knowledge, you can navigate the available options effectively. By recognizing the signs, understanding the causes, and exploring treatment alternatives, you can make informed decisions to restore your dental health. 

Remember, prevention plays a vital role, so prioritize proper oral care and regular dental visits to minimize the chances of a root canal gone wrong. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Hills Dental Studios for personalized guidance and treatment options. Your dental well-being is our top priority!

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