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How Long Do Root Canals Last

Endodontic treatment such root canal Mississauga has a fantastic success rate and usually lasts a lifetime. We have noticed this in our own patients from what they report to us and what we see in x-rays and follow up exams.

Statistically, the treatment is also backed up by studies such as this one that shows that of 487,476 root canal procedures, 98% of root canals last a year, 92% last five years, and 86% last ten years or more. The technology and protocol for the treatment is so well established that any patient should feel reassured that they are in good hands.

So how does one ensure that they are more towards the lifetime success of root canal treatment vs. just a multiyear success rate involving retreatment. There are several factors.

1) How long you waited before treatment: The longer you let the pain and swelling continue, the more likely the infection will spread making the situation worse needlessly. Even if there is little to no pain, skipping routine exams and x-rays means that it’s harder for your dentist to determine if there is an beginning infection present. https://www.peeldentist.com/posts/can-dentists-treat-root-canals

2) How and when the tooth is restored after: Some people  choose to skip the filling or crown that is needed after the root canal. This is a mistake. It’s vital that the tooth after treatment be sealed off properly so that new bacteria cannot get in, preventing re-infection (which you might not feel at this time, allowing infection to spread more).  How long you take to seal the tooth is important as well and the sooner the better.

3) Location of the treatment. Front teeth are much simpler and are involved in much less labour than molars. Front teeth typically are used for straight cutting / biting and only have one canal anyways. The molars grind your food down. A lot of stress is absorbed on the molars and combined with the fact that they have 3 canals (or sometimes a 4th, hidden canal), makes the procedure more complicated and may need retreatment again in the future (although still not statistically likely with proper care)

4) Your age. Patients that are older then to have drier mouths and more brittle teeth. This of course leads to further infection, decay and cracks/breaks which can reintroduce bacteria or complicate any previous treatment. Usually, the restoration of the tooth after the root canal is favoured by a dental crown due to it’s more rugged structure vs. a filling to seal the tooth.

Since there are so many factors, dentists can’t really predict how long your root canal will last. However, given the history of treatment, the studies and the testimonials, we know that it will be last for many, many years.