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How Long Does a Root Canal Last?

January 31, 2024
How Long Does a Root Canal Last?

Root canals are routine dental procedures that relieve pain and may preserve teeth from extraction. Some patients may be concerned that teeth treated with root canals may only last a few years before needing a repeat procedure. Most root canals last at least 15 years, with some lasting a lifetime with excellent oral care. 

Benefits of Root Canals

The major benefit of a root canal is that it relieves dental discomfort. Teeth that need root canals frequently experience significant pain and excess sensitivity to heat and cold.


In addition, root canals may prevent your tooth from extraction. Root canals treat infection and stabilize a tooth. After a root canal, the natural root system remains intact. This factor means the jawbone will continue receiving chewing stimulation, keeping it healthy and robust.

Symptoms Indicating the Need for a Root Canal

One or more of these symptoms may indicate you need to see your dentist:

  • Pain when chewing or biting down on the affected tooth: discomfort may be severe
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold around the tooth in question
  • Fever, chills, and other symptoms of an infection
  • Gray or black discolored tooth
  • Loose tooth
  • Pus around tooth
  • Pimple-like swelling on gums near the tooth

The Root Canal Procedure

A root canal is a routine and well-tolerated procedure that removes damaged pulp tissue and sterilizes the tooth. First, the dentist will drill a small opening in your tooth's crown and remove all infected and inflamed pulp. The dentist cleans the root interior as well.


After controlling the infection inside the tooth, the dentist refills it with a biocompatible substance called gutta-percha. This material seals out saliva and food that may cause a repeat infection.

Your dentist will utilize a temporary filling to protect your tooth while it heals. You will return to the dentist in a few weeks for your permanent crown or filling.


The permanent crown will seal the tooth and restore your chewing ability. Your tooth will feel natural, and you should have no lingering symptoms past a few days of sensitivity. If you notice any returning symptoms, call us as soon as possible to address the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals

Are root canals uncomfortable?

Root canals are no more trouble than getting a large filling. Today, the procedure is gentle, and the results are excellent.

Do I need a crown after a root canal?

Your dentist may opt for a crown or filling as needed. Crowns typically last longer, but fillings may be sufficient in many cases.

Call Springfield Healthy Smiles

A root canal may seem intimidating, but it is a simple procedure that relieves pain and saves teeth. Please call our Springfield, VA, office at 703-866-7000 to ask questions about root canals and schedule a consultation.

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Springfield Healthy Smiles
8338 Traford Lane
Springfield, VA 22152
Tel: 703-866-7000 | Fax: 703-866-7010
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8338 Traford Lane Springfield, VA 22152
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