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Old 08-01-2002, 06:15 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 72
simmie HB User
Question Root Canal Longevity

Hi all,

There's been a lot of discussion about why root canals might not be the best thing for the long-term health of your mouth, how they become reinfected, etc., etc. I'm not looking to debate the merits of gutta percha or calcium hydroxide here; nor do I want to see explanations of the many tubules in your teeth and how they can't be reached with medications. Those are all salient points and and something that needs to be decided by each individual. My question is simply this:

For those of you who have root canaled teeth, how long have those teeth been RCT-ed? Did you need to have them redone at some point, did they become reinfected? What did you do? Are they anterior (front) or posterior (back) teeth, like molars? Do molars have more troubles than front teeth after a "successful" RCT?

I know there are people out there who swear by the removal of teeth that need root canal treatment, but (in my opinion) this has disadvantages, too, as well as advantages--especially in posterior teeth; like accelerated bone loss in the jaw.

I'll start, I have one RCT tooth, it's been about 2 years; the tooth was infected for about 8 years before I found out that that was what had happened and the nerve had died. There is very little tooth left under the crown; when/if it goes again, I'd likely consider getting an implant or bridge for it. My mother-in-law has an RCT tooth that is 26 years old and has been problem-free for all of those years. She hasn't even had to have the crown redone on it.

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Old 08-01-2002, 09:13 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: MA
Posts: 88
Subie HB User

Hi Simmie,
I have 7 teeth that are root canaled (not proud of this number) My first root canal was done about 13 years ago on my bottom first molar. I just recently had to have that tooth pulled and now I need a bridge or implant which when I think of this I have complete anxiety. The reason this tooth had to be pulled was because one day BOOM it was completely infected. I have a bottle of antibiotics at home and it happened over a weekend so I just started taking them. The tooth settled down and then went to the dentist a few weeks later for something else and I mentioned this tooth. He looked at the x-ray and the post in my tooth had moved and was about to break through the canal. That's why it became infected. I had three different professionals look at it before I was determined myself that it had to be pulled.....I was sooooo upset and still am to this day. The other 6 root canals have been fine, well except for one that I feel pressure on and off, but I think it's from an ill fitting crown.
Good luck - to everyone with dental problems

Old 08-01-2002, 11:10 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 72
simmie HB User

Hi Subie,

I'm having problems currently with a bottom first molar (it's got a temp crown on it); it may be cracked (going to Endo on Monday), if it is cracked below the gumline, don't know what I'll do yet. But, have read a LOT about implants and bridges; implants truly seem to be very successful for the lower jaw, and relatively low rate of complications. I don't believe you end up with the bone loss you might have with a bridge, either...just something to consider. I'm sorry you're anxiety-ridden; I am too right now.

Thanks for your reply and good luck!

Old 08-01-2002, 03:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Tx.U.S.A.
Posts: 298
SherryElaine HB User

I have had two different teeth root canaled and one was done in 1984 about 18 years ago and still doing ok with no problems, the other was done only 1 1/2 years ago and has been retreated 2 more times and still bothers me. Both are molars. Guess it depends on the tooth and what the problem is with the tooth????


Anterior Cervical Fusion w/donor bone & w/plating C5/6 Done March 6-2003

Old 08-01-2002, 07:50 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 16
wisdom HB User

I just had my first root canal done and so far it has been wonderful. This could be because I was in pain for so long and im enjoying some long overdue relief. I am hopeful that it will continue to heal and stay in good health.


Old 08-02-2002, 07:20 AM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 72
simmie HB User


I've read your posts, and I'm really glad you finally found some relief from the root canal! Thanks for your reply.


Old 08-02-2002, 03:09 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 75
chica loca HB User

I'm on my third, actually it's a re-hash of my last root canal, which failed in less than a year. My first root canal I've had since '95 and it's doing fine.

Old 08-02-2002, 05:48 PM   #8
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: st. petersburg, florida, usa
Posts: 9
jimschnell HB User

great posts!

had my first rct in march after replacement of a crown for aestheic reasons

didn't have any idea what a root canal was
thought it was routine
tooth # 8 (front right tooth)

general dentist performed rct and gutta percha overfill going beyond the root-end up into gum tissue

after 3 months of pressure pain and throbbing
went to endo who retreated tooth
after another month began to throb with massive sinus pressure and pain followed

went new endo who did a root-end section (apicoectomy)
to remove gutta percha from gum area

now it's day 10 since surgery and tooth is feeling better everyday. throb in tooth seems to be gone but gum is still sore and there is still massive throbbing of my nose at the bridge and between lip and the nose but no more pain

maybe i've developed a sinus allergy
i've just heard sinus problems that cause tooth pain

anyway only day 10 after surgery and it looks like the tooth is healing very well

didn't have sinus problem until one week after the first rct in march so i blamed the sinus problem on the rct. but maybe it was the sinuses all the while

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhh!

not sure what to do about sinuses. not sure if it's the rct of the tooth or the sinus that is the cause.

guess i'm gonna see an ENT and an allergist

if it was a molar i would definitely pull it

Old 08-03-2002, 05:50 AM   #9
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 72
simmie HB User


Wow, what a story. For what it's worth, my mother's prosthodontist and periodontist and endo all told her recently that her ongoing sinus problems could very well stem from an infected upper tooth. Sinus problems can cause tooth pain, but apparently they ALSO can be because of tooth pain from infection.

I'm curious, why would you simply pull an infected molar--did you mean after an unsuccessful rct or before?


Old 08-03-2002, 11:50 AM   #10
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 75
chica loca HB User

I can relate w/ wanting to pull a tooth, even if I had to do it myself! I have had that discussion w/ my endondontist at the end of every appointment so far and he's told me the tooth is still very viable. It's been great having a dentist willing to answer A LOT of questions.

The swelling in my jaw is going down finally, after hitting its peak yesterday, the day after my most recent appointment.

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