Endodontically treated teeth usually last as long as other natural teeth, but in some cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment may not heal or the pain may persist. Re-performing the endodontic procedure can often save the tooth. Studies have shown that 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. Molars treated by endodontists had a 10-year survival rate significantly higher than those treated by general dentists.
After a root canal, the tooth should be restored with a crown to protect it and prevent future problems. If a tooth cannot be saved due to inaccessible root canals, severe fractures, inadequate bone support, or inability to restore it, then a dental implant may be an option. The need for a crown after a root canal depends on the location of the tooth in the mouth; molars and premolars require crowns for chewing, while incisors and canines may not need them. Smoking after a root canal is not recommended as it increases the risk of needing another procedure. Supporters of endodontics state that no peer-reviewed study has linked root canals to cancer or heart disease. Root canal crowns are effective dental restorations used to restore the external appearance of the tooth while protecting it from decay.
Root canals can fail due to an incomplete procedure, break in the crown or sealant, or anything that allows infection at the root and affects other teeth.