How To Handle A Failed Root Canal

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Root canals can fail for a lot of reasons. It may have been an installation error on the part of your previous dentist. It could be that you didn't get the restorative crown in time, so the temporary filling gave out. Perhaps there was an infection in the root of the tooth that didn't get resolved correctly. What can you do? Read on to find out.

Getting a Second Root Canal

You could get a second root canal in some cases. For example, if the dentist left a piece of metal file in the gums during your first root canal, a second dentist may open the tooth and try to pull it out if it's causing an infection.


You might want to just proceed to get the failed root canal taken out and get a dental implant instead. They have a much lower rate of failure, and one of the common reasons for getting implants is a failed root canal. This form of oral surgery is quite common and low-risk.

The Importance of Clearing Infection

With any of the treatments you choose, the important thing will be to clear away infection. A root canal that's not working is a prime place for infections to develop in your mouth. There may have been an infection for weeks, months or years before you decided to investigate a painful tooth.

Whichever method of treatment your dentist chooses, make sure that they take the time to clear away the infection before releasing you as a patient. With a dental implant procedure, that is usually built in. Oral surgery is done in phases, so that your mouth can recover along the way. A strong antibiotic is applied. There is a follow up with your dentist weeks after the implant surgery. In short, the strong control of infection is one of the strong points of dental implants surgery.

The process of paying for a root canal and having it fail is one that drives away many dental patients from root canals in the future. Perhaps, the next time you have a tooth that is on its last legs, you might consider going straight for the dental implant. Although it can cost more money, you'll probably avoid the headache of having to get multiple treatments on the same tooth. And in the end, what's most important is keeping your mouth healthy; it's a bonus if you are able to do this without too many painful procedures and dental visits.