ROOT CANAL TREATMENT- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Root canal treatment can sound scary and invasive. In reality, modern root canal treatment is pain-free and prevents the tooth being extracted; so we are able to keep our own natural teeth for longer. Your root canal dentist will explain about the risks, benefits, treatment alternatives and costs of treatment before the procedure and will reassure you of any concerns.
Why and when do I need root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is undertaken to treat or prevent an infection occurring inside the tooth. Treatment may be required after extensive decay in a tooth, a deep, fractured or leaky filling or crown, repeated replacement of fillings, extensive gum disease and its treatment, tooth injuries or a tooth that has developed a crack.
Occasionally, a healthy tooth may need root canal treatment to enable a crown to be retained (referred to as ‘elective root canal treatment’).
Is root canal treatment always feasible?
Success of the treatment may be influenced by the quality of the new filling or crown. If there is not enough tooth structure left, extraction of the tooth may be necessary. In this case, you will be referred back to your own dentist for further treatment.
What is involved in root canal treatment?
The treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic to ensure your comfort. Where a decision has been made to proceed with root canal treatment, the procedure will involve:
- Placement of ‘Rubber Dam’ (an isolation technique) that enables the tooth to be kept dry and prevents it from becoming infected from your saliva.
- Placement of a metal band around the tooth to protect it, if there is no pre-existing crown. The area around a tooth therefore requires additional care in home cleaning
- Entry to the centre of the tooth (root canals) by drilling through the tooth, filling or crown. If the filling or crown is defective it may need to be removed and replaced with a temporary material.
- Using specialised instruments to prepare the root canals for washing.
- Taking x-ray picture to check the length of the root canals and the quality of root filling.
- Use of disinfectants to wash the root canals.
- Dressing of the tooth temporarily between appointments.
- Placement of a root filling material to prevent the root canals from becoming re-infected.
- A microscope may be used to make treatment easier.
Will I experience pain during treatment?
Pain during treatment is a rare possibility, particularly when the nerve is inflamed. Under these circumstances, local anaesthesia is not so effective. A number of strategies are open to the dentist under these conditions. Some forbearance is required though to achieve immediate progress in treatment. Mild discomfort after treatment may be caused by one or a combination of several factors; local anaesthesia, rubber sheet placement or the treatment procedures, lasting between 12-24 hours after treatment. This is easily treated by mild pain killers, if necessary.
How long does the treatment usually take?
The process of finding, placing instruments into, preparing and washing root canals is a highly skillful procedure and takes time and patience during multiple and longer than normal appointments (11/2 – 2 hours).
What are the risks associated with root canal treatment?
The number of risks are minimised by the high standard of care. However, sometimes unforeseen problems can occur and may include the followings;
- Pain during treatment
- Mild discomfort after treatment
- Leakage of antiseptic agents into the mouth
- Tooth fracture
- Failure of canal location and negotiation
- Blockage of root canals
- Fracture of files in the canal
- Root perforation
- Extrusion of antiseptic through the end of the root into the surrounding soft tissue
How successful is the treatment?
Failure despite adequate treatment is a possibility in a small proportion of cases and is usually due to persistent infections. The success rate in those cases where there is no inflammation around the end of the root is of the order of about 96%. The success rate for those teeth with inflammation around the end of the root is about 85%. In case of failure, either re-treatment, surgery or tooth extraction may be considered.
What happens after my root canal treatment?
Following completion of the root canal treatment, the tooth will be filled with a core filling material. You will then be referred back to your dentist for an additional restoration such as a crown to protect the tooth from fracturing as well as routine care.
However, the tooth is normally monitored periodically to make sure that the bone cavity around the root end is healing up. This requires an X-ray picture. The healing can take anything from six months to four years and sometimes longer. The first check-up is at 6 months and thereafter on an annual basis up to 4 years.
If you do not understand anything please ask the dentist treating you.
ADVANTAGES FOR PATIENTS
Using the most modern, innovative technology we make your endodontic experience as pain-free as possible.
Our team is enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable. They will make sure you understand your treatment options before treatment goes ahead.
Endodontics is our specialty. Focusing on root canal treatment means we can provide you with a streamlined service.
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Endodontic treatment can be time consuming and stressful, it is Apex Endodontic’s mission to make it as stress free as possible, we are all highly experienced at root canal treatment.
We will ensure your patient is well looked after from the moment they book their first appointment.
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