Free Teeth Whitening Pen

Complimentary Teeth Whitening Pen with your next routine dental visit. Limited time offer!

Root Canal Teeth Survive about 11 years according to new Study

According to a new study released by the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Dentistry teeth survive about 11 years after a root canal.   Published on May 17th, 2022 this is the first study to analyze root canal survival rate in the U.S.  The study included data from more than 46,000 patients who underwent a root canal procedure.

Do root canal teeth with a crown last longer?

The study found that teeth that receive a crown after the root canal last on average for 20 years.  Much longer than the average root canal.  This is why we recommend porcelain crowns for most root canals done in our office.

Teeth with only a filling, and no crown, survived an average of 11.2 years respectively.  While teeth with no crown and no filling only lasted for 6.5 years on average.

Root Canal Suvival Rates differ Geographically

In the Northeast the study concluded that the average root canal tooth survives for 20.5 years.   While in other parts of the country a root canal tooth lasts between 8.7 years and 11.2 years depending on the region.

Insurance status and socioeconomics played a role.  I would assume the part of the country where the average survival rate was 20.5 years included people who crowned their root canal teeth.  Due to a combination of dental insurance and socioeconomic status people in this region were better able to afford crowns after the dental root canal procedure.

Emergency root canal, NYC can save teeth

Patients maybe suffering in pain when their tooth becomes infected.   Dentists can save an infected tooth with by performing an emergency root canal, in our NYC dental office.   The root canal procedure is a painless way to save an infected tooth.  Patient’s who come to our office experiencing pain and anxiety, usually leave extremely happy and relieved after their tooth infection has been treated.  The unfortunate myth of “root canals being painful,” is proved wrong in our office daily.  Most root canals get patients out of pain and are in fact painless.

Molar Tooth Infection Resolved after a Root Canal

The images above are of a patient who came in suffering from pain due to a severe molar tooth infection.  The tooth became very infected because a deep filling was placed close to the nerve.  This can cause the nerve to die off over time.  A root canal was performed to disinfect the first molar in February of 2022.  The patient returned for a follow-up about 9 months later in November of 2022.  The x-ray shows that the infection has resolved around the roots.   The dark circles surrounding the root tips have disappeared, signaling that bone has filled back in and the infection has been resolved.  Since the root canal was successful we proceeded with fabricating a porcelain crown for this tooth.

How Many canals Can a tooth have?

Significant dental work on a tooth such as a large filling or a crown can cause the nerve inside of the tooth to die off.  In the case above, the nerve inside of the tooth, with a crown, has died off causing a large painful infection.  No two teeth are ever the same.  A molar like this could have three, four, or in rare cases five canals.  For a root canal to be successful all canals have to be disinfected completely.  If a canal is left untreated, the infection will not go away.   In this case we were able to locate and treat all five canals with a root canal procedure.  This tooth will be monitored at future visits to see if the procedure was successful.

How Long is a Root Canal appointment?

The length of root canal treatment can vary depending on the complexity of the root system in a given tooth.  Usually front (anterior) teeth can be completed faster because they have less canals to clean.  While molars can have three, four, or five canals in a single tooth; All of which must be disinfected for the outcome to be successful.

Most root canal treatments are completed in our office in a single visit.  This visit usually takes about 90 minutes.  The patients are then asked to return to work on making a crown for the tooth.  A crown is very important for a long term successful outcome as the studies at the top of this blog show.

Is it better to pull the tooth?

The article discussed in the beginning of this blog illustrates how teeth with a root canal and a crown can last an average of 20 years.   Saving a tooth prevents a lot of problems.  A lost tooth will cause other teeth to shift into the space over time.  While dental implants are amazing for replacing missing teeth; We believe there’s nothing better than saving a natural tooth.   While it can take a year for the implant process to complete; A root canal is usually completed in just a single visit.  

Dental News Blog