Endodontist Questions Root Canal Treatment

Is a root canal treatment permanent?

If I get a root canal treatment done today, will it be permanent or are there chances that it can recur on the same tooth again?

11 Answers

Unfortunately nothing in life is gauranteed including root canals! There is always a chance that it may have to be addressed at a future date.
Root canal treatment is permanent in removing the cause of pain and infection. The longevity of the tooth is more dependent on the proper restoration and maintenance of the tooth and supporting structures (periodontium or gums). Recurrence of infection is relatively uncommon when root canal treatment is done by an endodontist but it can happen.
Yes, but it can fail due to a miss or blocked off canal in the tooth.
Root canal success is affected by several factors like: speed of getting the permanent restoration within 2-3 weeks after root canal completion. Also if you grind or clench this could cause cracks in the tooth. If you don’t maintain excellent our hygiene, leakage could happen and lead to failure of root canal and reinfection.
When it comes to the human body, the only thing permanent is death. Root canal treatment, when performed by an endodontist, offers about a 90 - 95% success rate, by a general dentist, about 15 - 20% less. Generally, endodontics has a very high success rate similar to implants which are also about 90 - 95% successful. Extractions are 100% successful in that the tooth is gone and won't return, though there can be plenty of complications. Endodontist use microscopes that enable them to see far more clearly. Also, with 2 or more years of specialty training, they are better prepared to handle more complicated cases. Given a choice, I would usually prefer the root canal treatment by an endodontist and try to save my own tooth. If it fails, you can fall back on implants. If implants fail, then what? (Please note, the percentages are across large populations, individual dentists and patients may have different results).
Always a chance that a root canal may need to be in the future. Nothing is 100 percent.
If done correctly, yes, it is permanent. But it depends on a lot of factors. Like if the crown is leaking, RCT is not going to last for long, or if one of the roots is missed during treatment, RCT may fail.
Everything done in dentistry, medicine, and in life, is subject to failing. Most endodontic failures are due to leakage from the restoration, allowing bacteria back into the root canal system. The root canal in most cases can be retreated and the tooth saved
Root canal treatment can be permanent if the tooth stays healthy. The issues that can arise are related to the fact that a tooth that gets root canal treatment is still vulnerable to decay, periodontal disease, injury, wear or breakdown over time. After root canal treatment is completed, a proper restoration is necessary to protect the inside of the tooth. It is also critically important for a patient to take great care of their teeth with excellent oral hygiene to prevent some of the issues that can arise. If a root canal treated tooth is taken care of and kept healthy, it can last for the rest of a patient's life.

Brett E. Gilbert, D.D.S.
Root canal therapy can last forever. You need to remember that it is still a tooth and it requires regular oral hygiene (daily brushing and flossing). Additionally you will need to maintain your regular “cleaning” appointments and exams to prevent decay. Root canal teeth, even with crowns, can still get decay. Lastly, crowns and dental fillings do not last forever, they break down over time and leak. If not replaced in time, that leakage will result in the root canal getting reinfected.
Root canal procedures have about a 90% success rate and can last many years. However, many factors determine whether a root canal will need to be retreated in the future. First of all, the root canal itself should be done properly to aid in a successful result. Secondly, the tooth must be sealed and properly restored after the root canal. And finally, the patient has to take responsibility for taking good care of the tooth after the root canal and permanent restoration. If all three of these factors are positive, then there is a high chance that your root canal will last for many years.