Root Canal Treatment
Why Does My Tooth Need Root Canal Treatment?
A tooth generally needs a root canal procedure because the pulpal tissue (the ‘nerve’) inside the tooth has become irreversibly damaged. The pulp may become inflamed or may die if either there is significant decay in a tooth, if there is a large restoration (filling or crown) or if the tooth has been subjected to trauma.
The inflamed pulp may cause toothache or remain pain-free. When the pulp dies, the space it inhabits (the root canal) rapidly becomes infected with bacteria. This may cause pain and swelling in the supporting tissues (abscess) or the tooth may remain symptom-free.
Root canal treatment is directed towards removing inflamed or abscessed tissue. The root canal system, especially in molars, is often complex and difficult to clean well. This is why many general dentists prefer to refer these cases to an Endodontist who has the training, equipment and experience to deal with them well.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
During a root canal treatment the endodontist will drill a small hole through the crown of the tooth, and remove the pulp tissue or existing root canal filling which is infected by bacteria. The pulp chamber and the tooth root canals are then cleaned (sometimes referred to as removing the nerve) and disinfected to remove all of the bacteria to allow healing. Root canal therapy requires one or two visits to complete, depending on the extent of the infection.
Once the root canal system has been sealed (root canal filling), a protective crown may be required to prevent the tooth from fracture, so that it can be retained as a healthy and functional member of the dental arch.
Fortunately, the guiding principles of modern endodontics can now be utilized to deliver very predictable results over years of a patient’s lifetime.
About your Endodontist
An Endodontist is a specialist dental practitioner highly trained in the techniques and use of equipment in order to treat difficult root canal systems and retreat teeth where previous root canal treatment has failed.
Endodontists are able to use techniques to reduce patient discomfort and anxiety during the treatment. Most patients will experience no discomfort during or after the procedure, a minority of patients may experience a little soreness after the procedure which will resolve within 48 hours, this can be reduced by taking routine painkillers e.g Ibuprofen during this period.
Currently, we can expect success rates of over 90% for first time root canal treatments performed by an endodontist. The success rate is reduced to about 80% when an existing root treatment needs redoing if it has failed.
Some cases may need further treatment in order to eradicate the infection successfully. If root canal treatment fails, a surgical procedure (root end surgery) might be necessary in order to treat the infection successfully. If necessary this can be carried out by our specialist practitioner in Oral Surgery.
- Professional Fees
Root Canal Treatment
Re Root Canal Treatment
- Pulp therapy
Complications e.g. separated instruments, silver points and post removal or placement may incur additional fees