How Long Does a Root Canal Last?

Team Endodontics

Are you in need of a root canal? A root canal is needed when the inner pulp of a tooth gets infected. Bacteria can enter the tooth through a deep cavity, a crack, or a chip in the enamel. The best way to treat the infection is to perform a root canal procedure. 

If your dentist has recommended a root canal, you probably have some questions, one of which may be: how long does a root canal last? Here’s what you can expect.

Average Lifespan of a Tooth After a Root Canal

Once a root canal has been performed on your tooth, as long as it was successful, the tooth can last for the rest of your life. You may never have another problem with the same tooth. But in rare cases a root canal can fail and need to be redone. 

What Does a Root Canal Procedure Entail?

You have probably heard of a root canal, as it has a stigma of being a long and painful dental procedure. However, it is no more painful than a traditional cavity filling. 

To perform a root canal, the dentist will enter the tooth through a small hole made in the crown. The soft pulp inside of the tooth’s root canal will be removed and the canal will be cleaned out. Once all of the infected tissue is removed, the root canal will be filled up with resin like what is used to fill a cavity. This should prevent any future possibility of reinfection. Then the hole in the crown is filled or an artificial crown is placed over the existing tooth. 

Why Do Some Root Canals Fail? 

As mentioned previously, on rare occasions a root canal will fail. In these cases the tooth can become reinfected. Possible complications include:

  • The root canal was not complete. Sometimes the dentist only sees two or three root canals when there are actually four. When one of the root canals doesn’t get cleaned out and filled, it is still susceptible to infection. If the fourth canal gets infected, the root canal may need to be repeated. 
  • The tooth continues to decay. If you don’t take care of your teeth, the tooth that already received a root canal can further decay and lead to reinfection.
  • The seal deteriorates. Over time the seal that closes the inside part of your tooth off from the outside can break down and let infection in. The root canal procedure may need to be repeated if this occurs. 

What Can You Do to Help Your Root Canal Last for the Rest of Your Life?

Although a root canal is not a painful procedure, you would probably still prefer not to repeat it. Here’s what you can do to help make sure your root canal lasts:

  • Brush Your Teeth. To prevent decay and gum disease, dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Floss Your Teeth. To prevent decay between your teeth and gum disease, dentists recommend flossing once a day. 
  • Go to the Dentist on a Regular Schedule. Regular dental cleanings and exams can prevent decay and alert your dentist to any issues with your teeth, such as reinfection of a tooth that has received a root canal or a deteriorating filling or seal. 

Preventing tooth decay and gum disease can also help your gums to stay healthy. Gum disease can cause infection to get in through the root of a tooth and reinfect it. 

Get Lasting Root Canal Treatment at Eagle Endodontics 

At Eagle Endodontics, we are meticulous when performing root canal procedures to ensure no canals are missed and that the tooth is properly sealed. We don’t want to repeat a root canal procedure any more than you want us to. 

Contact us at either of our two convenient locations today: 

Lexington: 781-863-2453

Belmont: 617-612-5677