Early intervention is the key.
Endodontic treatment is more widely known as Root Canal Treatment (RCT) and is a procedure that provides us with the ability to save a tooth that may otherwise require extraction. It has long been misrepresented as a painful procedure; however the main purpose of root canal therapy is to relieve pain caused by an infected, inflamed or abscessed tooth root.
With the innovations in dental medicine, pain management anaesthetics and the development of specially designed instruments, root canal therapy can be completed in total comfort in as little as two appointment visits.
The prime objective of endodontics is to save and restore a tooth to its full strength and appearance. When it has been damaged by deep decay, the result of untreated gum disease, or sustained an injury that has chipped or cracked your tooth causing nerve and tissue damage inside the nerve chamber of your tooth; occasionally a heavy blow can also result in tissue damage but without actually breaking the tooth itself.
Without effective and quick treatment, it can cause extensive pain and an abscess may develop. In cases where the infection has not been addressed the tooth may even require removal, the exact procedure root canal treatment is designed to prevent.
Why do I need a Root Canal Treatment (RCT)?
The initial cause which leads to root canal treatment can be tooth decay or trauma to the tooth, which results in irritation of the tooth’s pulp. When a tooth’s pulp becomes irritated and infected, the swelling that results can cause pain. The condition may lead to an abscess and eventual destruction of the bone surrounding the tooth.
Root Canal Treatment Involves:
- Removal of infected or diseased nerve from the tooth.
First, we’ll administer and anesthetic to relieve any discomfort during treatment. The tooth may be isolated with a rubber dam to protect the surrounding area from bacterial infection or chemical agents.
- Cleaning and shaping of root canals
Filling the root canals with a special root canal filling. This treatment requires several visits and it is important to keep these appointments to minimise the risk of future complications.
Restoration of a Root Canal Treated Tooth (separate cost from RCT)
Restoration may involve either:
- A Filling
- A post-core, followed by a filling
- A post-core followed by a crown
As these teeth may become more brittle and prone to fracture- it is advisable to have root treated teeth capped (crowned).
Possible Outcome following Root Canal Treatment
Over 90% of Root canal treated teeth experience no problems thereafter. However, rare complications do occur, and various methods are available to manage these. Some problems may include:
- Brittleness, Weakness
- Re-Infection, pain or discomfort
Rarely, a painful tooth may require re-treatment or surgery by an endodontic (specialist). If all else fails the tooth may require removal, as a last resort.
However, every effort is made to save the tooth and ensure that you are comfortable and pain free. Please feel free to ask me about any concerns you have about the treatment.