Root canal hazards and Root canal complications

Root canal procedures are sometimes a necessary part of dental care. However, sometimes there are complications after root canal, which impact the aftercare for patients.

In one instance the dentist may begin a root canal with the hope that the tooth decay hasn’t killed the tooth and extensively damaged the crown and roots. Despite any good intentions when entering the tooth he may be faced with a situation that calls for an extraction of the tooth. Another root canal complication will include accidental situations during the procedure such as a root perforation or when the pulp chamber in the crown is perforated.

Dead teeth are brittle and a vertical root fracture can happen during the procedure. If the fractured root can be removed while the rest of the roots remain they may restore the tooth. One last complication is when a prepared root is not filled properly. This can be in the form of an under-fill or over-fill. A common problem is when a patient does not return to have the procedure completed. Occasionally the body will cause root resorption or root canal pain and in these cases it is important to return to the dentist.

In some cases root canal complications include pain and inflammation from oxygen in the air, which causes bacteria to start growing. Bacteria can get pushed out through the tips of the roots. Sometimes during a root canal procedure bacteria will get pushed out into the surrounding tissue. When this happens the surrounding tissue will become inflamed and possibly infected.

A root canal treatment can puncture the side of the tooth if the canal is cured or if the canal can’t be located. The instruments are flexible so as they bend they may make a small hole in the side of the tooth. If saliva can get into the hole, the tooth may have to be extracted. If the hole is under the gum line and the saliva can’t reach it the hole may heal on it’s own.

Another root canal complication may be that the root canal may be missed or not fully cleaned out. If the canal isn’t located and cleaned out the tooth can remain infected and it will have to be repeated. This can happen if the canal isn’t measured correctly and pieces of infected pulp are left near the bottom.

One of the most commonly thought of root canal complications is pain. Many times you won’t experience pain after a root canal because the procedure and pain treatment has been improved to a large degree. Your dentist will completely numb the area and give you medications for pain control afterwards.

While the number of root canal complications may be large the number of times they occur are small. Dental care has improved and progressed to the point where the rate of side effects, hazards and complications are minimal. 10 years ago this may have not been the case but today dental procedures don’t hold the same fear as before since anesthesia and the procedures have advanced significantly.


MayoClinic: Root Canal Treatment
American Association of Endodontists: Root Canals
International Endodontic Journal: Neurological Complications Follwoing Extrusion of Sodium Hypochorite Solution During Root Canal Treatment

International Endodontic Journal: Complications During Root Canal Irrigation
American Dental Association: Serious Complication of Endodontic Infections
Colgate: Root Canal Complication What You Need to Know
NYU Langone Medical Center: Root Canal Treatment

Mercola: 97% of Terminal Cancer Patients Previously had this Dental Procedure

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