Root canals are a common dental procedure that can save a natural tooth from extraction. The success rate of endodontic treatment is very high, with 98 percent of root canals lasting one year, 92 percent lasting five years, and 86 percent lasting ten years or more. Teeth that receive a root canal and then a filling and crown last about 20 years, while teeth that receive a filling or crown after a root canal last approximately 11 years. Teeth that don't get any restorative treatment after a root canal last for about 6 or 5 years.
The American Association of Endodontists states that root canals have a success rate of more than 95% and, in most cases, last a lifetime. However, the longevity of the treatment can be affected by specific circumstances. A detailed study on the subject examined the long-term effectiveness of 487,476 endodontic treatments and found that making a filling and a crown soon after a root canal made a substantial difference in the life of the tooth. Teeth that were filled and crowned after endodontics lasted about 20 years, while teeth that received only a filling or crown lasted an average of about 11 years.
Those who received neither lasted only an average of 6.5 years. Endodontics performed in the Northeast region lasted almost twice as long as in other areas of the country, an average of 20.5 years. Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp of a tooth (the nerve, blood vessels, and other tissues inside the tooth) becomes infected or painfully damaged and must be removed. Complications are more common when the condition of a tooth worsens before it is treated, especially when the root canal infection spreads to the jawbone. While a root canal alone cannot restore the function and strength of the tooth before infection, it can preserve it for a long time. Root canals are an effective way to save your natural tooth from extraction and potentially preserve it for years, decades, or even a lifetime.
The study results provide useful information for patients to have an idea of how long root canals last and why it is worth considering as a procedure. However, it is important to understand how specific circumstances may affect the longevity of treatment.