Discovering the Lifespan of a Root Canal


Deep within your tooth lies a crucial chamber housing living tissue known as the pulp. When damage, decay, or fractures compromise this chamber, the living tissue begins to deteriorate and cause inflammation and infection. As a patient, you may experience a dull ache that intensifies over time. Eventually, you may notice swelling or a bump in your gum, indicating a toothache and potential dental abscess. So what options do you have? The choices are to extract the tooth or undergo a root canal therapy.

The Root Canal Procedure Made Simple

  • First, your infected tooth will receive local anesthesia, and a rubber dam will isolate it.
  • A small opening is carefully created in the tooth.
  • Using specialized instruments, the endodontist will remove the infected tissue from the tooth’s chamber and canals.
  • The chamber is then thoroughly sterilized and filled with a safe material to prevent re-infection.
  • In most cases, the tooth will be restored using a core and a beautiful porcelain crown.

How Long Does it Last? Root Canal Success Rates?

A study involving 487,476 root canal treatments revealed impressive success rates:

  • After one year: 98%
  • After five years: 92%
  • After ten years: 86%

It’s worth noting that when a molar root canal is performed by an endodontic specialist, the success rate is significantly higher than when done by a general dentist.


Factors Influencing Success

  • Prompt treatment at the first sign of a toothache prevents the spread of infection.
  • High-quality treatment by an endodontist ensures proper canal filling and prevents contamination.
  • A proper core and crown placement restore both the form and function of the tooth.
  • Tooth location also plays a role, as front teeth are easier to operate on and experience less force compared to back teeth.
  • The patient’s age is a factor too, since older patients may have more brittle teeth that are more prone to fracturing after treatment. Additionally, preparation of canals can be more challenging due to calcification.
  • Other factors that can affect the success of a root canal include habits like teeth grinding, trauma, systemic diseases, radiation, and medications.

What If Root Canal Therapy Fails?

If root canal therapy is not successful, there are other options to consider:

  • Retreatment of the root canal, involving the removal of the material used for filling.
  • Apicoectomy, a minor surgical procedure performed at the root apex.
  • Tooth extraction.

When it comes to the lifespan of a root canal, the success rates are high, especially when you choose the right specialist such as Fifth Avenue Endodontics and prioritize prompt treatment. Trust in the expertise of an endodontist to ensure the long-lasting health of your tooth.