Can Root Canal Treatment Last a Lifetime?

Root canal treatment (RCT) is a procedure designed to save teeth that are severely damaged or infected. With proper care, a tooth that has been treated with a root canal can last a lifetime. However, while this treatment is more than 95% successful, there is a remote chance that your dentist will recommend that you have yours redone. The success rate of endodontic treatment is very high.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, root canals have a success rate of more than 95% and, in most cases, last a lifetime. Most teeth that have undergone endodontic treatment will last a lifetime unless the roots decay, the entire tooth cracks or moves, or if advanced periodontal disease requires tooth extraction. Breakdown of root canal data shows that teeth that receive a root canal and subsequent filling and crown last about 20 years, while teeth that receive a filling or crown after a root canal last about 11 years. Teeth that don't get any restorative treatment after a root canal only last about 6 or 5 years.

This is something we see first-hand with the patients in our office, and scientific research supports our observations. One of the most detailed studies on the subject examined the long-term efficacy of 487,476 endodontic treatments. According to this report, 98 percent of root canals last one year, 92 percent last five years, and 86 percent last ten years or more. Molars treated by endodontists had a 10-year survival rate, significantly higher than that of molars treated by general dentists.

In addition to the material used to seal the tooth, the technology used to make root canals has changed over time. These materials were not always biocompatible, including asbestos, lead, cement, copper, rubber and even bronze wire, which was found in the oldest known endodontic attempt in 200 BC. As knowledge about root canal therapy and techniques advanced, so did root canal aftercare, allowing patients to better control any discomfort they might experience. The research also aimed to test the hypothesis that the longevity of teeth depends on the patient's age, dental insurance, gender, geographical region and the location of the crown or any other restoration shortly after the patient undergoes endodontic treatment. The tools used today help reduce the chances of complications after the procedure, and root canal therapy now has a success rate of up to 98%.

The team found that making a filling and crown shortly after a root canal made a substantial difference in the life of the tooth. If you wait longer than recommended between endodontics and restoration than recommended, your tooth will be at greater risk of complications. There are many anesthesia options that you and your dentist can discuss for root canal therapy. Experts believe that endodontics has been tried for thousands of years, but it wasn't until the 19th century that the practice began to be improved. Dental instruments have also begun to use different motors and materials, which increases the accuracy of root canal therapy and allows greater flexibility in treating damaged teeth. In conclusion, with proper care and maintenance, root canals can last for many years - even up to 20 years - depending on how well they are taken care of. Root canals are designed to save teeth that are severely damaged or infected and have an incredibly high success rate when done correctly.