Can I have orthodontic treatment if I have a root canal in my tooth?

This is a common question that patients ask prior to carrying out orthodontic treatment. More and more orthodontic treatment is carried out on adults and many of our adult patients have extensively restored teeth. Some patients will have root canal treatments in their teeth and are concerned that these teeth cannot be moved.

The general consensus is that if the tooth has had a healthy root canal then it can be moved using a brace.

How do I know if a root canal treatment is successful?

The dentist will monitor this using their clinical examination and radiographs (xrays). If there is any doubt that the root canal has not been successful or has a poor long term prognosis, the advise is to remove the old root canal treatment and place a medicament which is an antibacterial (we commonly use Calcium Hydroxide). This paste can be left in the root canal until all orthodontic treatment is finished, after which the root canal treatment can be completed.

What are the risks of orthodontic treatment on a tooth with root canal treatment?

The common risk is that the tooth may flare up with pain and infection if the root canal treatment is not sound.

Case Study

This patient had a root canal treatment in her upper left lateral incisor tooth which was of poor long term prognosis. We removed the old root filling material and dressed the tooth with calcium hydroxide. This was left until the orthodontic treatment was completed. This case was treated with 6 Month Smiles braces for approximately 7 months after which the root canal filling was redone.

We have been treating patients in the Herefordshire and Worcester area for a number of years so If you are interested in finding out if you are eligible for orthodontic treatment, please do not hesitate to call us today and book your free consultation!

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