Can Root Canal Treatment Last a Lifetime?

Root canal treatment is a highly successful procedure, with a success rate of more than 95% according to the American Association of Endodontists. In most cases, it can last a lifetime, but there are some factors that need to be taken into account to ensure its longevity. A detailed study on the subject examined the long-term efficacy of 487,476 endodontic treatments and found that 98% of root canals last one year, 92% last five years, and 86% last ten years or more. Molars treated by endodontists had a 10-year survival rate significantly higher than those treated by general dentists.

In general, endodontic treatment will last unless the roots decay, the entire tooth cracks or moves, or if advanced periodontal disease requires tooth extraction. Saving your natural teeth is always the best option as nothing artificial can replace the look or function of a natural tooth. However, if you postpone the procedure, the damage can grow to the point where the tooth cannot be saved and extraction is the only alternative. Endodontics performed by an endodontist is the go-to treatment for a sore or infected tooth and, under optimal conditions, the patient can expect the treated tooth to last 20 years or more.

Pain, tenderness when biting, gum inflammation, loose teeth, or sinus pain can (but not always) be symptoms of root canal insufficiency and may require new endodontic treatment. It's important to note that information found on the Internet or other sites stating that root canal treatment increases your risk of getting sick or contracting an illness in the future is simply not true. Additionally, if a large part of the tooth is lost and a crown cannot be placed on what is left, root canal treatment is no longer a viable solution. Root canal treatment has a high success rate and many teeth treated with endodontics last a lifetime. Replacing an extracted tooth with a bridge or implant requires more treatment time and may result in additional procedures on neighboring teeth and in the supporting tissue.

When performed by a board-certified endodontist, endodontic treatment is very likely to last for decades.