A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures. It can often save a tooth that is severely decayed, damaged, or infected. Root canals can be performed by general dentists or endodontists.
If you have a tooth that needs a root canal, you may be wondering how long it will last. Here’s how long you can expect a tooth to last after a root canal and what factors affect longevity.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal, also called root canal therapy, is a procedure performed on the root canal of a tooth, the inner chamber containing the dental pulp. At the center of each tooth there is a hollow space filled with dental pulp, soft tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves. The purpose of a root canal is to remove the dental pulp and fill the tooth with a replacement material that fortifies the structure of the tooth and prevents infection.
Why Are Root Canals Needed?
A tooth may need a root canal if it is infected. When bacteria enters the root canal of a tooth through a crack or cavity, it can cause an infection in the dental pulp. An infected tooth must be treated with a root canal in order to save it.
In many cases a root canal may be recommended for a tooth that is at risk of infection due to a deep cavity, a large amount of decay across the tooth, a crack, or a fracture. A root canal can prevent a painful infection from developing and save the tooth.
Average Lifespan of a Tooth After Root Canal
A tooth that has had a root canal will typically last for at least 20 years. In some cases a tooth may not last as long as that, or it may last even longer in many cases. The lifespan of a tooth after a root canal varies depending on a variety of factors.
Factors That Affect the Lifespan of a Tooth After Root Canal
How long a tooth lasts after root canal therapy depends on the following:
- Good oral hygiene. It is important to take good care of your teeth to help them last longer in general, and it is even more important after a root canal. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day removes the majority of the plaque that settles on the teeth, which is the cause of decay.
- Regular dental care. It is also important to go to the dentist every 6 months for dental cleanings and oral exams. Your dentist will check to make sure that the tooth that received the root canal remains healthy.
- Placement of a dental crown. If a dental crown is placed over the tooth following a root canal, it tends to last longer than a tooth that received a filling. The crown protects the tooth from further decay and damage that could lead to infection.
- Who performs the root canal. General dentists are often qualified to perform root canals, but endodontists specialize in this and other procedures that treat teeth from the inside, focusing on the dental pulp. An endodontist will have the specialized equipment and expertise to perform a thorough root canal that will last.
Why Choose Elite Endodontics of NH?
If you’re in need of a root canal, Elite Endodontics of NH specializes in root canal therapy and other endodontic procedures that increase the likelihood of saving your tooth. Through the use of technology and minimally invasive techniques, we ensure that every part of your root canal is cleansed and filled in a gentle manner. We offer sedation options to help you feel relaxed and comfortable during your procedure.
To learn more, contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our 2 convenient locations.