My Root Canal Failed, What Do I Do?

You go into your root canal appointment assuming it is going to take care of all the pain you’ve been experiencing. Whether you are experiencing shooting pain through your jaw whenever drinking something hot, biting into something cold, or when encountering any type of pressure applied to it, a root canal is all about correcting this and getting back to pain-free living. 

Following the root canal, things likely became better. After a day or two of discomfort, the inflammation of the gums surrounding your tooth went down, and now you began feeling better. And yet, something persisted. There was still lingering pain, like a little shadow of your former discomfort. At first, you’re unsure if this is just remnants from the root canal procedure, and, eventually, the pain will entirely disappear.

After all, your dentist said there might be slight discomfort for a few days. So you wait a few more days, and the annoying pain hasn’t left. In fact, it is becoming more and more prominent. What does that mean?

It may mean your root canal has failed. Now, you may wonder what to do if a root canal fails

Here is what you need to know and what to do should you ever find yourself in this situation.

Why Did Your Root Canal Fail

The first question you probably have is, why did your root canal fail? The fact of the matter is many teeth have incredibly elaborate root canal systems. This means dead pulp and bacteria can linger in even the smallest sliver of a canal. This, in turn, makes it difficult for some kinds of tools and technology to get in and clear away all of the necessary debris. 

If the root canal failed, some of this debris or bacteria remained and is now rotting inside of a tooth. Sometimes it can take a few days for the pain to occur again, while other times, it might take weeks for you to notice the discomfort returning. However long it has taken, if you can feel any kind of pain within the root canal tooth, then it means it needs to be addressed right away.

What To Do Following A Failed Root Canal?

Realistically, the only option you have is to go back in and have a second root canal performed on the same tooth. Your general practice dentist should have explained there was a possibility of this happening. But even if they did, it likely wasn’t at the forefront of your mind when you went in, had the procedure done, and dealt with some of the lingering inflammation of the gums around the affected tooth. 

Now that the pain is back, you need to schedule an appointment to have the tooth examined and a second root canal performed. While you don’t have much of an option in terms of having a second root canal performed, you can decide who should perform the procedure. 

While a dentist can perform a root canal, it is not their specialty. They learn how to perform it in dental school, and your dentist has probably performed dozens, if not more, over the course of their career. However, this is not something they do every day. That is why it is often better to schedule an appointment with an endodontist and have root canal therapy performed by someone that doesn’t just specialize in the internal health of a tooth but performs root canals on almost a daily basis. 

Due to the sheer volume of root canals, the endodontist will have the necessary experience to provide you with a high-quality root canal. They will also often always have improved technology and procedures, such as GentleWave, that provide better results. So, if you are forced to deal with a second root canal on the same tooth, while it is possible to return to the same dentist, it is highly recommended to schedule an appointment with an endodontist. 

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you have undergone a root canal in the past and the pain has returned in your tooth, it is a sign you need a second root canal procedure on the same tooth. 

When it comes to a root canal, it is in your best interest to see an endodontist, such as our staff here at Southern Endodontic Specialists. We specialize specifically in the health and well-being of the inside of your teeth. We have the latest technology to ensure the highest quality endodontic care possible.

So, if you need endodontic retreatment, our staff here at Southern Endodontic Specialists is here for you. Give us a call, or fill out a request form and schedule an appointment today.