Our Experienced Dental Malpractice Attorneys Explain Some Basic Things You Need to Know if You Were Injured By Root Canal Therapy
The pain and discomfort of a diseased, decayed, or injured tooth can be debilitating. Root canal therapy is a treatment that can alleviate that pain and allow you to keep your natural tooth. While generally safe, negligently performed root canal therapy can be painful and create the need for additional dental procedures as a result of dental malpractice. Here are some basic things you should know if you believe your root canal therapy was not done properly.
Anatomy of a Healthy Tooth
Teeth are the hardest part of the human body, allowing us to bite into all types of delicious foods and snacks. This is because they consist mostly of calcified tissue called dentin. Dentin is surrounded by the hard white enamel that we see when we smile. Dentin and enamel makes up the crown, or top part of the tooth. Dentin also extends below your gums, into the root of the tooth. Here, inside the dentin is the tooth’s pulp. The pulp houses the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. Root canal treatment is necessary when there is inflammation or infection inside of the tooth.
What Are The Basics of Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is often referred to as endodontic treatment, a specialized area of dentistry that treats disease or injury to the pulp of the tooth. To begin a root canal treatment, the tooth is first numbed and a small shield is applied to keep the tooth dry and clean. Drilling is then performed through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber. The endodontist then applies a fluid into the canals of the tooth to disinfect and rinse out debris. The pulp is then removed, and the canals are cleaned and shaped.
The roots are then filled and sealed. Often a temporary filling is put into the crown of the tooth until you see your dentist, who seals the tooth permanently. Without treatment, an infection or abscess may form in the bone and tissue surrounding the tooth.
What Causes Root Canal Therapy to Fail?
Root canal treatment is usually successful—at a rate of about 85-95%. In the case of root canal failure, additional root canal treatment can usually solve the problem. Sometimes,however, the tooth must be pulled altogether. Root canal failure usually occurs for one of five reasons:
- Missed canals;
- Incompletely treated canals – short treatment due to ledges, complex anatomy, lack of experience, or lack of attention to quality;
- Remaining tissue;
- Bacterial post-treatment leakage.
While root canal therapy can fail for many reasons, many times the failure is caused by dental malpractice. If you believe your root canal therapy failed because of dental malpractice, you may have a right to make a claim.
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If you have any questions about your failed root canal therapy, contact our experienced dental malpractice attorneys for more information by calling (800) 762-9300. You can also get started by simply filling out one of our case intake forms, and we will have one of our attorneys get right back to you.
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