753 Maleta Lane #201
Castle Rock, CO 80108


10 Biggest Mistakes Made During Root Canal Treatment

When performed correctly, root canals can be not only painless, but can actually relieve the patient of any pain they had prior to the treatment. At Castle Rock Endodontics, we pride ourselves in the fine work we perform every day and want to educate everyone on things that could possibly leave to a failed root canal. Thank you for visiting Castle Rock Endodontics and happy reading 🙂

1. Inadequate anesthesia

woman having toothache at homeThe stigma associated with the question “OMG, you are having a root canal?” is rather unfortunate.  Pain management is achievable today in the right hands. It should be a very rare occurrence that root canal treatment is a painful, nightmarish experience. On the contrary, with the right skill-set and ability, the dentist who understands and implements “pain management skill” should be able to perform root canal treatment without causing the patient the kind of pain associated with the stigmatized memory that many patients currently carry…

2. Weakening of the tooth

So often I redo root canals that  demonstrate the unfortunate undermining of good tooth structure due to aggressive and indiscriminate access openings into the pulp chamber. This results in the irreversible weakening of the tooth with obvious negative consequences.  There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, most root canal treatment is performed by dentists who have not fully developed the skill-set needed to do these procedures at the highest level. The second reason is that the surgical microscope is not used; the level of magnification and illumination produced by the microscope helps the dentist see with incredible accuracy thus reducing the chance for “gouging” and weakening of the tooth.

3. Missed canals

This is a huge problem and the cause for a vast majority of root canal failures. It is one of the main reasons my practice is filled with patients who need root canals retreated. Again, the surgical microscope is absolutely critical in locating and fixing these missed canals. With correct training, skill, commitment and the surgical microscope, the chance of missing canals is reduced tremendously.

4. Short fills

The second biggest reason for root canal failure is the multitude of inadequately filled root canals. It is so much easier and quicker to fill root canals short.  This is because the most complex part of the root canal system is usually the last few millimeters of the root. This is where most of the time and expertise is needed to do the job right. This is the area most neglected by the operator leading to long-term failure in so many cases.

5. Inadequate disinfection

A human being can do so much and no more to clean and shape a root canal. After that, we need to rely on chemicals to get into all the nooks and crannies of the root canal system. The technical term for that is “chemical debridement”. Many root canals are filled as soon as the dentist feels he has done the work of cleaning and shaping. As a result, tissue remnants and infection can be left behind in the root canal system. This serves as a source for failure long-term. The science has evaluated and demonstrates the importance of “soak time”. We clean and shape and only then, once there is space available to hold a volume of the disinfection agents, do we begin to count the soak time. It should be obvious to you now that “extreme attention to detail” is a key element in the nuanced procedure called “Root Canal Therapy”.

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