Orthodentic Gallery

Does Root Canal Treatment Work

Posted On: 9th May 2019
Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatments is no longer a new idea or proposed experiment but are fast becoming a mainstay in the dental world. For some time, they have been around, and have been adopted by some of our clients. The problem, however, does not rely on whether people have heard about root canals, or how many people have had root canals, but on how effective root canals are. A good number of people have had root canals, but in some cases, they pull out. The question turns out to be, Why do root canals fail? Some might discourage others who might be trying to get a root canal but meeting with our endodontists at Smile 4 U for initial root canal treatment can help reduce the risk of root canal failure.

Root canals fail for one major reason – bacteria. This usually happens when the mouth is unsterile, as bacteria thriving in an uncomfortable mouth leads to decay, inflammation and infection of the teeth and gums. Bacteria are not the only reason why root canals fail. There are five other factors which contribute to the failure of root canals, most of which are highly preventable. As dentists, we are not just concerned with root canal treatments for our clients, we also redo a failing or failed root canal – On an average, it is expected that root canal treatment should have a minimum of 85 - 95% success rate or even more. Root canals often fail for the following reasons;

1.    Fracture

This refers to root fracture and may occur in teeth that have never been filled. This is caused when there is an introduction of bacteria into places where they shouldn't be, as a result of cracks in the root. It can also be caused by the overly aggressive treatment given when removing teeth structure. These fractures cannot be identified on an X-ray. However, they cause a certain pattern of infection that makes its presence known. When these fractures have been confirmed to be present, it is now determined by our endodontist if treatment should be attempted. The duration of the treatment is now dependent on the prognosis; it could range from six months to a long time. There have been cases where we decide that treatment for a root canal wasn't going to solve the problem because the probability of a fracture was just too high to justify the treatment of saving the tooth.

2.    Missed canals

Missed canal is one of the most common reasons for failed root canals. It has been proven, even from experience in our expertise, that some teeth have two canals, about 95% of the time. This means that during root canal treatment, all root canals have to be found; otherwise, there will always be a greater percentage of a failed root canal as a result of the overlooked canal.

A good example is amesiobuccal root, which has two canals in about 75%of its cases. These canals cannot be seen without the right equipment such as a microscope, or a cone beam (CBCT) 3-dimensional radiographic imaging, (like we have in our clinic) which makes identification of the canal easier. Generally, an undiscovered root canal can lead to an ineffective result and failed treatment.

3.    Incompletely treated canal

This is the second most common cause of root canal treatment failure. It is as a result of incomplete treatment of canals, due to some part not being seen or treated. For instance, a canal of about 25mm long ends up being treated in about 20mm of its length; the remaining space is then open for bacterial infection. This incomplete treatment is caused by three factors

  • Natural anatomy (calcification)
  • Ledges ( not using proper equipment, inexperienced specialist
  • Or just laziness on the practitioner ( not taking time to reach the end of the canal)

This can be avoided by;

  • Proper experience on the part of the specialist
  • Use of proper tools and equipment

4.    Tissue

This is another causal factor which occurs when there is tissue remainingat the first root canal. These tissues serve as a source of nutrients for the invading bacteria, leading to treatment failure. It is caused inadequate lighting, or perhaps a hurried work, or even unavailability of suitable equipment to properly remove tissues.

5.    Leakage

The point here is to limit the extent of leakage of bacteria because all dental materials allow leakage. This is why measures are taken to control and prevent leakage. Such measures include permanent fillings, rubber dam isolation, orifice barriers and excellent communication with your dentist. The last, being the most important, especially with experienced dental specialists.

Book an appointment with Private Dentist Croydon at our Smile 4 U Dental Practice today for your root canal treatment or dental checkup by calling 02086407586, and we will be sure to be of help.