My root canal did not work...

Your dentist recommended that you get a root canal. A root canal can be an intimidating process but you worked up the courage to go to the appointment and braved the procedure.

Now, you’re feeling pain in the same place, you’re frustrated and upset and are probably asking, why did my root canal fail?

The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth when:

Conditions that may cause root canal complications:

A tooth is made up of two parts

These are composed of the following structures:


The root canal system contains the dental pulp and extends from the crown of the tooth to the end of the root. A single tooth can have more than one root canal.

1. Missing Root Canals

A root canal may not be cleaned out or sealed to its full length

2. Root Canal Complexities

The root canal system of some teeth is complicated with branches extending to the sides of the canal. Branches, especially in curved canals, are very difficult to detect. A hidden root canal branch will remain infected causing the treatment to fail.

3. Crack in the root of the Tooth

An existing small crack at the root of the tooth that remains unnoticed will allow bacteria to re-enter and re-infect the tooth.

4. Root Perforation

Another usual problem is when an endodontic instrument accidentally perforates the root. A missed curve in a root canal may result in the endodontic file penetrating the side of the tooth. If the opening is not sealed it will be a gate for the bacteria to re enter the tooth.

5. Endodontic File Fracture

Caused by the accidental breaking inside the canal of the endodontic files that are used to clean and shape it. If the breaking of the file happens during the shaping of the canal after it is cleaned, it is possible to fill and seal the tooth even without removing the fragment. But if the root canal is not yet cleaned, the broken file has to be removed.

All in all, root canal therapy can be extremely challenging. Extreme care is required to eliminate 100% of the infection.

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