Three Questions to Ask Your Root Canal Doctor

Woman at the dentistry

A root canal procedure is no longer a source of dread—at least, if you do your research. Knowing exactly what goes down while you’re in the chair—everything from the history of root canals to the instruments used—can act tremendously toward your peace of mind.

If you’re at a loss for good questions, try the following:
Is a root canal preferable to a simple extraction?
In some cases, you may want to keep your tooth. There are concerns—some of them legitimate—about the inability to fully sterilize the affected tooth. No matter how thorough your specialist is, it’s not always possible to eradicate every microbe from the interior of the tooth. If this is a sticking point for you, ask your root canal doctor in Los Angeles about the advantages of extraction.

What are the chances my root canal will fail?
The most recent data projects the odds of root canal success between 85 and 97 percent. When procedures fail, it’s often because they were performed by general dentists instead of endodontists. General dentists who lack endodontic training may misuse tools or fail to irrigate or seal properly.

What do you replace the inflamed tissue with?
A secondary material called gutta-percha—used in the making of canes in the 1800s—is placed inside the tooth. As stated above, it is not always possible to remove all bacteria from the root canal. The goal is to preserve the tooth, and to limit leaks and the possibility of retreatment.

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Complications Arising from Root Canals

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Root canal treatment usually goes smoothly, but complications can occur for a variety of reasons. Errors during the procedure and anomalies in tooth anatomy are often involved when problems do happen. Here is a look at the most common types of root canal complications.

Re-Infection

Errors or missed infected tissues can allow a tooth to become re-infected right after a root canal or later. Insufficient cleaning, delayed crown placement, and incomplete removal of infected tissue from abnormal tooth canals may be involved in these cases.

Root Perforation

Tooth roots are very delicate and often shaped in unusual ways, and they sometimes become punctured by instruments during a root canal procedure. In some cases, such punctures can be repaired immediately with no further issue.

Root or Crown Fracture

Following root canal therapy, teeth, and especially their roots, are more brittle than before. Further treatment, failure to place a crown, and habitual teeth grinding all can potentially fracture weakened roots. This often makes extraction necessary.

Complications of root canal treatment can happen during the procedure or later. Fortunately, complications are unusual and are treatable in a variety of ways. You can schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles endodontist to learn more about endodontic complications.