Email booking
Schedule LIVE
Book an Appointment

The Longevity of Root Canals

Toothaches are intrusive and persistent, often causing significant discomfort and disrupting daily activities. While the pain is frequently attributed to cavities, it can sometimes originate from deeper within the tooth's pulp—the chamber containing nerves and blood vessels.

In such cases, a root canal procedure may be necessary to address the underlying issue and provide relief.

A root canal by Al Care Dental saves the tooth by removing the infected pulp. This minimally invasive procedure can be a lifesaver, but a key question remains: How long does a root canal last? This guide explores its lifespan and how to maximize its success.

Understanding Root Canals

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure aimed at preserving an infected tooth. When bacteria penetrate through deep cavities or cracks, an infection can develop.

To prevent the need for tooth extraction, a dentist performs a root canal. This process involves extracting the infected tissue from the chamber, meticulously cleaning the root canals of the tooth, and sealing the area with a filling.

When is a Root Canal Needed?

So, how do you know if you need a root canal? Throbbing toothaches are a classic symptom, but sometimes the pain is more subtle, like a dull ache or sensitivity to hot and cold. Other signs include:

  • Swollen gums around the tooth
  • A persistent bad taste in the mouth
  • Visible pus around the tooth

If you experience any of these symptoms, a visit to Al Care Dental is crucial. Early diagnosis and treatment can often prevent the need for a root canal. However, if the infection is advanced, a root canal becomes the best course of action to save the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading.

The Root Canal Process

The good news is that root canals are performed with local anesthesia, keeping you comfortable throughout. The dentist will create a small opening in the tooth's crown, carefully remove the infected pulp, and thoroughly clean and disinfect the root canals.

To seal the canals and protect the tooth, a temporary filling is placed. In most cases, a follow-up appointment is needed for a permanent crown. This crown is crucial for restoring the tooth's strength and function, especially for molars that take on a lot of chewing pressure.

Lifespan of a Root Canal

Average Lifespan of a Treated Tooth

The good news is that root canals are highly successful procedures. Studies show that with proper care, a root canal-treated tooth can last for 10 to 15 years on average—in some cases, it can even last a lifetime!

Factors Affecting Lifespan

However, several factors can influence a root canal's lifespan:

  • Age: Generally, younger patients tend to have a higher success rate with root canals compared to older patients.
  • Location of Tooth: Front teeth typically have simpler root structures and experience less wear and tear, leading to a potentially longer lifespan after a root canal. Molars, on the other hand, bear significant chewing forces and might require extra care.
  • Severity of Infection: The extent of the initial infection can also play a role. A more severe infection might require more complex treatment, potentially impacting the lifespan of the treated tooth.
  • Dental Hygiene: Just like all your other teeth, proper oral hygiene is crucial for the longevity of a root canal-treated tooth. Consistent brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings help prevent new infections and promote overall oral health.

Impact of Dental Crown on Lifespan

As mentioned earlier, a dental crown placed on a root canal-treated tooth significantly improves its lifespan. The crown strengthens the tooth's structure, protects it from fractures, and helps distribute chewing forces evenly.

Studies show that teeth with crowns after root canals can last up to 20 years or even longer!

Chance of Needing Retreatment

While root canals are highly successful, there's always a small chance that retreatment might become necessary down the line. This could happen due to:

  • Incomplete removal of infected pulp
  • A new infection due to a leaky crown or improper oral hygiene
  • Fracture or trauma to the tooth

Maximizing the Longevity of Your Root Canal

Proper Oral Hygiene Routine

  • Brushing: Brush twice daily for 2 minutes with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay close attention to the treated tooth, removing plaque buildup.
  • Flossing: Flossing daily is essential for removing plaque and bacteria from between teeth, including the treated tooth.
  • Mouthwash: Think about using an antiseptic mouthwash as an extra measure to combat bacteria.

Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings

Make sure to keep up with your routine dental visits and cleanings at Al Care Dental in Leduc, AB! Visiting your dentist twice a year for comprehensive cleanings and examinations is crucial. These appointments allow your dentist to monitor your treated tooth, detect any possible issues at an early stage, and address them before they escalate into significant problems.

Avoiding the Use of Treated Teeth for Hard or Chewy Foods

While a root canal-treated tooth can function normally, it's essential to be mindful of what you chew with it. Avoid using the treated tooth for foods that are excessively hard or chewy, such as nuts, hard candy, or raw vegetables. These foods can put undue stress on the tooth and increase the risk of fractures or chipping.

Signs You Might Need Root Canal Retreatment

If you experience any of the following symptoms after a root canal, it's crucial to see your dentist promptly:

  • Pain or Swelling Around the Treated Tooth: This could indicate a new infection or an incomplete removal of infected pulp during the initial treatment.
  • Cracked or Chipped Tooth: A crack or chip in the tooth can expose the inner canals to bacteria, potentially leading to a new infection.
  • Unusual Sensitivity to Hot or Cold: This sensitivity could be a sign of nerve damage or irritation within the tooth.

Cost of Root Canals

The cost of a root canal can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure, the location of the tooth, and your dentist's fees. Generally, root canals are more expensive than fillings but significantly less expensive than tooth extraction and implant placement.

Root Canal Alternatives

If a root canal isn't the best course of action for your specific situation, your dentist might recommend alternative treatments. In some cases, an antibiotic regimen might be enough to control the infection. In severe cases where the tooth is too damaged, extraction might be necessary.

However, advancements in dental technology have made root canals a highly successful option for saving teeth in most situations.

Al Care Dental: Your Leduc Dentists

Looking for exceptional dental care in Leduc, AB? At Al Care Dental, we're passionate about providing our patients with comprehensive and compassionate dentistry.

Our team of skilled dentists utilizes state-of-the-art technology and techniques to ensure the best possible outcomes for all your dental needs, including root canal procedures.

We understand that the prospect of a root canal can be daunting. That's why we prioritize patient comfort and communication throughout the entire process. We'll thoroughly explain the procedure, address any concerns you might have, and ensure you feel comfortable and informed every step of the way.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

Don't let tooth pain hold you back from enjoying life. Contact Al Care Dental today to schedule an appointment and discuss your options. We're confident we can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts.


a digital image of a cracked tooth with cavity

Unlike a permanent fix, a root canal offers a long-lasting solution for a damaged tooth. With proper care, a root canal-treated tooth can function and thrive for many years, potentially even a lifetime.

If you're experiencing symptoms that suggest you might need a root canal, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Early diagnosis and intervention are key to a successful outcome.

For exceptional dental care in Leduc, AB, book an appointment and look no further than Al Care Dental. Our team of skilled dentists utilizes state-of-the-art technology and techniques to ensure the best possible outcomes for all your dental needs, including root canal procedures.

Welcome New Patients

We’re glad you chose our practice! Please take some time to learn about how to prepare for your first appointment.

Find Out more
envelopephone-handsetmap-markercalendar-fullclockcrossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram