Another failed root canal?

I've had an awful 6 months with dental issues after never really having issues or fillings for 15 years.

Last June I developed an abscess on an upper first molar. Had it root canaled privately at a cost of 460. Tooth never felt quite right.
December I had an abscess develop on lower first molar same side. Had another root canal.

Two weeks later, immense throbbing pain from upper molar. 
Saw dentist and root canal had failed so tooth was extracted. 

Meanwhile Lower molar has still not settled 8 weeks on. I feel this too will be a root canal failure so I've wasted 900 quid and lost two teeth!

I have the dentist on Monday to hear the verdict! 

So my questions are as follows 
Why don't root canals seem to work for me! I have good oral health in general - the abscessed teeth were both filled as a teen 14 and 18 years ago. I have since taken much better care of my teeth. 

Because root canals have failed.. 
 Does that make implants more likely to fail? 
I can just about live with the missing upper molar as not visible but the lower molar is next to a baby tooth pre molar as I had no permanent molar there so seemingly eventually I will have two Missing teeth there when the baby tooth finally gives up! 

Lastly, I'm still paying these root canals off so it's unlikely I'll be able to get implants very soon. How long generally is OK to leave it before getting implants? 


  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
    10K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Root fillings do sometimes fail. There can be many reasons. Curved root canals are harder to clean effectively, sometimes there are tiny extra canals that aren't spotted, sometimes the end of the root has many micro-canals rather than one clean exit point. 

    Also, if you grind your teeth, the reason for the abscess might have been that the tooth was cracked - and this can be really hard to spot whilst treating the tooth, and only subsequent failure is what shows that might have happened. 

    Seeing a specialist endodontist (root filling dentist) can increase the chances of successful root filling, but that would come at the cost of doubling the price you paid for the process - and it still wouldn't be a 100% guarantee. 

    Root fillings failing for you does not mean implants will. The two things fail for completely different reasons. If you do grind your teeth though, that's something the dentist doing implants should notice, take into account, and advise you and treat accordingly 
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
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