West Hollywood Dentist

One of the Most Trusted Holistic Dentists in Los Angeles, CA

7865 Santa Monica Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 654-2840

With A quarter century experience in dentistry, West Hollywood Holistic and Cosmetic Dentistry offers most dental treatments in one office. Call us today to schedule your free dental consultation.

What to Do When a Root Canal Fails

What to Do When a Root Canal Fails

Your dentist may determine the need for a root canal when you’re experiencing frequent pain, sensitivity, or tingling sensations. After an x-ray examination, the root of your tooth may reveal severe deterioration. Root canals are performed to treat the damaged root and leave the tooth structure intact.

It is a cosmetically-appealing solution, but it often leads to root canal failure because it doesn’t address the “root” cause of the symptoms…a dying, unhealthy tooth. The experienced dentists at West Hollywood Holistic and Cosmetic Dental Care are considered the best in Los Angeles because they use a comprehensive philosophy when performing root canals. They disinfect and clean the canals and fill the empty spaces with biological material that doesn’t allow bacteria to grow. Nonetheless, there are effective alternatives to root canals.

Why Do Root Canals Fail?

A root canal can be performed successfully, but the disease around the tooth is left untreated. This condition is detected with an x-ray that displays a dark area around the tip of the root. The dark area represents the reaction of the body to bacteria that is dissolving the bone around the tips of the treated root.

This can lead to painful or silent infections that can spread around the body for years. When a root canal fails, the procedure can be performed again or an apicoectomy can be done, where the root tip is surgically removed.

Redoing the Root Canal

During this procedure, the original root canal filling is removed and the roots are refilled with new material. Although not always successful, this procedure may help resolve the disease. If it doesn’t, the patient will have to undergo further procedures in an attempt to finally stop the disease from progressing.


This option accesses the root by reflecting the gum from the bone. A hole is then drilled in the bone and the tip of the root is cut in the hopes that the infection disappears. The space is filled to seal bacteria and prevent it from spreading to the bone. If this procedure is not successful, the next solution is extraction followed by a dental implant.

Many patients prefer to extract the tooth immediately and avoid the infection from becoming worse and causing future issues.

Setbacks of Root Canals

There are several considerations one must contemplate when choosing to receive a root canal procedure. These include:

  • Root canals are a temporary solution. When the tooth is extracted and replaced with an implant, the infection is completely eliminated. Dental implants are designed to look like your real tooth and can last for decades or even a lifetime.
  • Unfortunately, root canals frequently require the patient to receive additional expensive and painful procedures on the same tooth. Also, recurrent infections can affect other teeth and different body systems.
  • Root canals weaken the tooth and, likely, the tooth will eventually be extracted.
  • Crowns and caps have to be replaced every 7 to 10 years compared to a dental implant that can last for the rest of your life.

The Best Solution for Severe Tooth Decay

When tooth decay is advanced, the best overall alternative is to have an extraction and implant. Root canals, as we’ve discussed, are full of setbacks that can cause you future health issues and expenses.

Having the tooth extracted and an implant installed is the best long-term solution. Here are other reasons why dental implants are superior to root canals:

  • Bacteria is fully removed, which means the infection won’t progress and you’ll be able to avoid the painful symptoms.
  • Dental implants have a success rate of 90-97%.
  • When you have a dental implant you know you won’t have the uncertainty that comes with root canal fails.

Making the Best Choice

As you choose which procedure is best to treat your severe tooth decay, our expert dental team at West Hollywood Holistic and Cosmetic Dental Care will weigh the benefits and disadvantages of getting a root canal. We understand that extracting a tooth can be a big decision, our goal is that you’re comfortable with the next step you see as a good solution. We’re there every step of the way implementing the best industry practices so that any choice you make has the most successful outcome.

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