How Long Does a Root Canal Last?
Do you have a tooth that hurts or has significant decay or damage? Teeth are susceptible to infection of the dental pulp, the soft tissue at the center of each tooth. An infected tooth or a tooth that is at risk of infection can be treated with a root canal. In many cases a root canal can save the tooth, allowing it to remain in place in your mouth.
If you are in need of a root canal you may be wondering how long the tooth will survive after the procedure. Here’s what you can expect when it comes to root canal therapy.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure named after the part of the tooth it addresses. The root canal is the inner chamber of a tooth that contains dental pulp, soft tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves. A root canal procedure is the process of removing the dental pulp, cleaning out the inner chamber of the tooth, and filling it with composite material. In most cases a crown will be placed over the tooth following a root canal to protect the remaining tooth and root material.
Why is a Root Canal Needed?
You may need a root canal if your tooth becomes infected or is at risk of infection. Bacteria can enter the root canal through a crack or a cavity in a tooth and infect the dental pulp. If a tooth develops an infection, a root canal may be able to save the tooth by removing the infected tissue and replacing it with artificial filler that is not susceptible to infection.
A root canal may be done proactively if a tooth is cracked, broken, or has a deep cavity that puts the tooth at risk of infection. Preventing a tooth from becoming infected increases the chances that the tooth can be saved. It also prevents severe discomfort that results from an infected tooth.
How Long Will the Tooth Survive After a Root Canal?
The average lifespan of a tooth following a root canal is 10-15 years. However, in many cases a tooth that has had a root canal can last for the rest of your life. Why do some root canals last longer than others? It depends on a variety of factors.
Factors That Affect the Lifespan of a Tooth After a Root Canal
There are a number of factors that play a role in how long a tooth remains healthy after root canal therapy:
- Dental hygiene. Practicing good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, will help your tooth stay healthy after a root canal and last longer.
- Accuracy of the procedure. A root canal must be very thorough to reach all of the root canal chamber, otherwise the infection may not be eliminated or a new infection may occur.
- Crown placement. If a crown is placed over the tooth following a root canal it is more likely to last longer. Proper placement of the crown is also an important factor, otherwise bacteria may get under it and cause a new infection.
Why Choose Las Vegas Endodontics?
The accuracy of a root canal is an important factor in the lifespan of the tooth going forward. An endodontist is a dental specialist who is trained and skilled in procedures affecting the dental pulp. A root canal performed by an endodontist with advanced technology designed specifically for root canal therapy is more likely to be thorough and successful, resulting in a longer lasting tooth.
At Las Vegas Endodontics we specialize in root canal therapy and other procedures that improve the health of your teeth from the inside out. We have helped numerous patients keep their natural teeth in place for the long term.