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St. Anthony, MN 55421

St. Anthony, MN 55421

Maple Grove, MN 55369

Maple Grove, MN 55369

How Long Do Root Canals Last

June 30, 2024

An endodontist can save you from tooth extraction via a root canal. They remove the infected pulp and clean, reshape and sterilize the canals inside your tooth. However, “How long do root canals last?” is of concern to many people. 

Even without living pulp, the tooth stays in place thanks to the periodontal ligament and can work just like your other teeth. While a root canal can last a lifetime, sometimes the tooth might need more treatment. 

Do Root Canal Teeth Fall Out

Root canals rarely fail, but problems like poor sealing, untreated infections, injury, bad oral hygiene, or tooth decay can cause issues. Regular dental check-ups and good oral care can help prevent these issues.

Root Canal Lower Tooth Life Expectancy

On average, a tooth can last 10 to 15 years after a root canal. However, if the dentist adds a dental crown, the tooth can last much longer.

Can Root Canals Last a Lifetime?

Root canals are usually very successful. Most of the time, a tooth with a root canal works well for many years. It can even last a lifetime.

Factors that Affect the Longevity of Root Canals

You can certainly make your costly root canal treatment last a lifetime. Following are some considerations that impact the lifespan of your root canal. The patient can also make some efforts to increase it.

  • The Initial Extent of Decay
    The sooner a patient gets treatment for tooth decay, the better the results. Advanced decay requires removing more tooth structures to make space for fillings and crowns. While dental materials are advanced, natural dentin and enamel are still stronger.
    Bacteria is always present in the infected tooth and nearby bone. Long-term infections can be hard or impossible to treat. They sometimes cause significant bone loss that makes the tooth unstable.
  • Location of the Tooth
    Teeth have different functions based on their location. Front teeth, with one root, are mainly for tearing and cutting. Back teeth, designed for chewing, need to handle stronger forces. Loss of tooth structure reduces the tooth’s strength and ability to withstand chewing pressure.
  • Treatment Success
    You should always seek a skilled dentist, ideally an endodontist, for root canal therapy. Success depends on many factors, including the dentist’s ability to remove as much diseased tissue as possible before cleaning the tooth chamber. This is harder for back teeth with multiple nerve canals that need access.
  • Patient Age and Health
    Teeth become more brittle with age, increasing the risk of breaking during dental work. Older patients can also have health conditions or take medications that affect oral health. For example, dry mouth can trigger infections because there’s not enough saliva to clean the teeth. Calcified or closed nerve canals can make treatment more difficult.
  • Root Canal Failure
    Root canal treatments can fail for various reasons, such as a cracked root, missed nerve tissue, or a failing crown or sealant. Symptoms of failure include pain, tenderness when biting, swollen gums, loose teeth, or sinus pain, requiring further treatment.
  • Good Aftercare
    Maintaining oral health after a root canal is crucial. Proper hygiene, regular checkups, cleanings, and timely treatments are essential for long-term success. Following are some aftercare tips:

    • Eat softer foods
    • Chew on the side of your mouth that didn’t have the procedure
    • Brush the tooth carefully
    • Use mouthwash to reduce gum irritation
    • Avoid smoking and alcohol
    • Take all medications as prescribed

Final Word

It can be hard to predict “How long do root canals last?”. There are many factors playing their roles in the background. However, if a skilled endodontist performs it, chances are it will last more than a decade. 

Visit our general dentist, Dr. Prem Kumar, at Almond Dental. Our doctor has extensive experience in performing countless successful root canals. Call us at our St. Anthony office at (612) 782-7000 or Maple Grove office at (763) 762-7177 to reach out. 


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