Suffered from a poor root canal treatment? Find out what your failed root canal options are
What are root canals?
A root canal treatment, also known as a dental endodontic treatment, consists of removing the infection from inside a tooth.
Since this treatment is more complex than a simple filling, your dentist should check whether the tooth is strong enough to survive treatment. In some cases, if the tooth is too damaged, or has already broken, the only option would be tooth extraction. Your dentist shouldn’t attempt the treatment on it if this is the case, as the failure rate for the treatment would be far higher.
Root canals involve the dentist removing the inside pulp from the tooth, removing the tooth’s nerve, clearing the infection, and replacing it with a prosthetic filling material known as gutta-percha. They then add either a crown or a filling to the tooth to help strengthen and protect it.
When successful, the treated tooth is likely to last for 10 years or longer, depending on how well it’s looked after post-treatment.
What can go wrong with root canals?
As with any dental treatment, there can be unforeseen issues with the treatment. Some of the more common issues relating to poor root canal work, or down to an inexperienced dentist, include the following:
Incomplete infection removal
If the infection is not fully removed during the process, this leads to a weakened tooth and potentially gum infections inside the gum (known as abscesses). This is a common negligence issue and any infected parts of the tooth should be removed during the treatment.
Dental instrument breakages
If too much force is used during the treatment, the fine dental tool used for the root canal can break off and get lodged inside the tooth. If this happens, more often than not, an immediate extraction is required. While the tool breaking isn’t necessarily the fault of the dentist, the dentist continuing the treatment without noticing or mentioning the broken piece is, and can be sued as a result.
Root canal perforations
Root canal perforations can be a difficult problem to fix if they occur. If overfilled or if too much pressure is used during the root canal treatment, a perforation in the side of the root of the tooth can occur, irreparably damaging it and the surrounding gum. This can lead to extractions, permanent nerve damage, and if not fixed, potential abscesses and infections. While these perforations aren’t always due to negligence, if not repaired or identified at the time it can be the sign of a negligent treatment which can be claimed for.
What are the failed root canal options?
Root canal dentistry requires an incredible amount of skill, care and dental knowledge to carry out properly, and many problems that arise can happen due to natural problems with the tooth, rather than negligence on behalf of the dentist.
It’s not always easy to know exactly what the problem is either, and unless the tooth has broken or you’re suffering from toothache or an abscess under the tooth, you may not even realise something wrong has occurred.
The easiest way to find out if you can claim compensation is to first have it checked by a separate dental professional. Then, if they confirm something hasn’t been done correctly, or if you end up having to pay to fix the treated tooth further, it’s worth filling out our questionnaire form.
We’ll run through a free, no-obligation consultation with you to discuss the root canal treatment and, if necessary, help you gain compensation from the negligence you’ve suffered.