There Is No "One Key" To Great Dental Health

Three Complications That May Prolong Your Root Canal Treatment Procedure

When you go to the dentist for a root canal, your hope is that the treatment progresses successfully and you go home with a saved tooth within the shortest time possible. After all, you might have heard stories about how painful the treatment is (but that is what pain management is there for). Unfortunately, complications may arise and prolong or even halt your treatment. Here are three examples of such complications:

Curved Root

To a large extent, the success of a root canal depends on the accessibility of the canals. The dentist needs to reach the canals so he or she can remove the dead tissues and disinfect the sites. This is not possible if the canals twist and turn too much. An experienced dentist will analyze the curved canals and stop the treatment process if the prognosis isn't satisfactory.

Calcified Canal

You have a calcified canal if the root of the tooth is so hardened that your dentist can't get into it to clean it. This happens if calcium compounds accumulate and harden in the root of the tooth, which is usually soft tissue. Causes of calcification include dental decay, prolonged infection, and prolonged trauma, among others. If the dentist cannot get inside the hardened canal, then he or she can't clean or fill it properly.

If your dentist encounters such a phenomenon, he or she may stop the original root canal treatment and deal with the calcification first. For example, the dentist may perform an apicoectomy, which involves cutting off the calcified tip of the canal.


An existing fracture may also preclude a root canal treatment. This may occur if there is an internal fracture that hasn't reached the surface of the tooth, and the dentist could not see it before opening up the tooth. Proceeding with the root canal treatment under such circumstances isn't ideal because the fracture increases your risk of developing an infection after the root canal treatment. Seepage of the filling material may also occur and render the root canal ineffective. Depending on the extent of the fracture, it may be wiser to extract the tooth and get an implant than to try to save it via a root canal.

No two teeth are similar, so you shouldn't make a conclusion based on another patient's diagnosis and treatment. Rely on your dentist's knowledge and experience to guide you on the treatment course to pursue. Click here for more information on the root canal procedure. 

In many cases, the difficulties can be overcome, and the treatment concluded. In some cases, however, you may have to pursue alternative forms of treatment.