How Long Does a Root Canal Last?

Root canals are a highly successful treatment for saving teeth that are severely damaged or infected. According to the American Association of Endodontists, root canals have a success rate of more than 95%, and in most cases, they last a lifetime. A detailed study on the subject examined the long-term effectiveness 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. With proper care, a tooth that has been treated with a root canal can last a lifetime.

However, there is a remote chance that your dentist may recommend that you have your treatment done again. The most important thing to do to maintain the health and integrity of your teeth is to brush and floss regularly. While the vast majority of root canals will last at least 5 years, most of them will last up to 10 or 15 years. If you wear a crown and maintain impeccable dental hygiene habits, it can last a lifetime.

Root canal retreatment can be performed successfully and with a good prognosis. However, anatomical variations in the structure of a tooth's root, curved canals, blocked canals, and irregularly shaped canals can pose complications in treating tooth roots. An endodontist can save your natural tooth and potentially preserve it for years, decades, or even a lifetime by extracting the pulp and cleaning, shaping and disinfecting the root canals. In general, a root canal won't take much longer than filling a cavity or removing a wisdom tooth.

If you wait longer than recommended between endodontics and restoration than recommended, your tooth will be at greater risk of complications. The patient should consider alternatives such as an implant when weighing their decision to remove a root canal.