Skip to main content

Most of the time Root Canal Surgery is successful and complication free. Most people do not experience any complications that are more serious then mild discomfort around the site of the root canal. Even this does not usually last a long time and the pain often disappears after a few days.

However, if this pain persists it could be a sign that the Root Canal treatment was unsuccessful. When this happens it is essential that you seek out appropriate help as not doing so can leave the symptoms to worsen and become more painful.

Failed Root Canal

A failed root canal can happen to any teeth. When agreeing to have a root canal done you should be aware that there is no guarantee that the surgery will be successful.

However it may be possible for your dentist to give you an indication on how likely the procedure is to succeed as very often the chance of failure is affected by how much the infection has spread in the root canal.

Additionally, if your teeth are shaped in a way that makes it difficult for your dentist to reach them using tools then the chances of failure will usually be higher.

When a root canal procedure fails, the bacteria that caused the infection continues to develops in the root canal as it hasn’t been removed properly. When this happens the appropriate steps must be taken to manage the problem.

Tooth Fracture

The damage caused by the original infection in the root canal weakens the tooth. The effect of this can be worsened by the cavity created during the root canal treatment to access the tooth. The weakened tooth is more susceptible to cracks so the chance of a fracture developing in the tooth are higher.

The crack may be minor and in this case it is usually easy for your dentist to fix the problem without having to carry out any serious procedures. However if the crack is more significant then more extreme treatment may be necessary. It may be necessary to have the tooth extracted altogether.

Your dentist will help advise you on the best way for you to go about fixing the crack.

Difficulty finding and cleaning the root canal

Not every root canal is easy to locate. Finding the root canal is essential as if it is not managed properly as part of the surgery it can increase the chances of failure of the treatment. If your dentist has difficulty finding the root canal that it is likely that it will be difficult for him/her to remove all the infection. This can mean that the infection will spread further and the problem will not be resolved.

Even with the modern technology commonly used in Root Canal procedure nowadays it is possible that even the best endodontists cannot find the root canal. Sometimes, they are simply too difficult to find!

File breaking as part of the Root Canal Procedure

Your dentist will use a file to clean the inside of the pulp. Usually, the files are very small and can break. Although this probably won’t directly damage the tooth it can make it difficult for the procedure to be carried out correctly, resulting in the failure of the root canal treatment.

With appropriate management it is easy to fix any issues caused by failed root canal treatment.

Why you shouldn’t panic if you experience any Root Canal Complications


Although it is unlikely to experience any complications after any Root Canal Surgery it is still a possibility. If you experience any complications there is no need to worry. Many dentists have experience in dealing with the consequences of failed Root Canals and they are well trained in fixing the problem.

However it is essential that you do not avoid seeing your dentist because you are scared of further problems being created as a result of further treatment. Early treatment is the best treatment!

Re-treatment can relieve pain left behind by the failed root canal treatment so it is likely that successful re-treatment will make you feel better as oppose to causing additional pain.

Why are some people more at risk of developing complications when having Root Canal Treatment?

Although there is a chance of Root Canals failing for everyone, some people have a higher chance of failure then others.

There are several factors that increase the chances of failure of a root canal treatment. Sometimes, the anatomy of certain people’s teeth makes it difficult to reach the teeth and properly remove the infection. There are studies that argue that smoking raises the chance of failure of root canal treatment.

Leave a Reply