What is the downside of root canal?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

The downside of root canal treatment is that it can weaken the tooth. This is because the dentist has to drill through the tooth in order to access the infected pulp. The drilling process removes a significant amount of tooth structure, leaving the tooth more vulnerable to fractures in the future. Additionally, if there is extensive decay present in the tooth, it may be necessary to remove even more tooth structure during the procedure to ensure that all the decay is properly cleaned out. This further compromises the strength of the tooth.

Another potential downside of root canal treatment is the possibility of post-operative complications. Following the procedure, some patients may experience pain, swelling, or infection in the treated tooth or surrounding tissues. While these complications are relatively rare, they can occur and require further treatment or intervention.

Furthermore, root canals are not always a permanent solution. In some cases, the treated tooth may become reinfected or develop new problems over time. This can happen if there are undetected canals or if the original infection was not completely eliminated. In such cases, a retreatment or even tooth extraction may be necessary.

It is worth noting that the tooth itself may become discolored after a root canal. This can happen due to the removal of the pulp, which contains the blood vessels and nerves that supply the tooth. Without these vital components, the tooth may gradually darken or turn gray. While this can be addressed with various cosmetic dental procedures, it is still a potential aesthetic drawback.

Lastly, the cost of root canal treatment can be a downside for some individuals. Root canals are generally more expensive than other dental procedures, especially if additional treatments or restorations are required. This can pose a financial burden for those without dental insurance or limited coverage.

While root canals are a common and effective treatment for saving a severely infected tooth, there are some drawbacks to consider. These include the potential weakening of the tooth, post-operative complications, the possibility of re-infection or new problems, tooth discoloration, and the cost of the procedure. It is important to discuss these factors with your dentist to make an informed decision about your dental health.