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Root Canals

Many failed root canals at once.

05/09/2007

Question:

Many years ago almost all my teeth had root canal treatment. Now they all seem to be failing at once. Pain, throbbing,Re-treatments work however.

I`ve been told the first round of treatments were done poorly, but why have they not bothered me after all theses years>

Answer:

The most likely cause for the problems may not lie in the root canal treatment but in the fact that the restorations (crowns and fillings) in those teeth are leaking and the root canals are getting reinfected. Most crowns have a lifespan of only around 4-5 years. Silver fillings can last longer. As bacteria get past these fillings, at a microscopic level, they will eventually reach the root canal material and then eventually get past that too.

It may take many, many years for that to happen, but eventually it does occur. I am unable to tell you if the treatment you had done many years ago was poor or not. The techniques and materials for treatment have changed and improved over the years, but that may not make a difference your case.

My best recommendation would be to have an endodontist evaluate the teeth in question to determine the need for retreatment.

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Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University