Root Canal Treatment:
Root canal treatment (also known as endodontic treatment) is necessary when the inside of the tooth (pulp) and surrounding area becomes infected as a result of cracking, decay or injury.
SYMPTOMS OF INFECTION INCLUDE:
- Persistent sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Swelling of the gum near the affected tooth
- Oozing from the affected tooth
- Facial swelling
The aim of root canal treatment is to save the tooth and prevent it from future infection. If it is not carried out, the infection may spread and the tooth may need to be extracted.
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’)
SEQUENCE OF ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Will I experience pain during treatment?
Pain during treatment is a rare possibility. It may occur occasionally when the nerve is inflamed. Under these circumstances, local anaesthesia may not be so effective. In these cases we can use a number of different strategies to try and ‘numb’ the tooth and will not proceed if it is too uncomfortable.
Post-operative pain can vary from slight discomfort to moderate pain lasting between 24-48 hours after treatment. This may be caused by one or a combination of several factors; local anaesthesia, rubber sheet placement or the treatment procedures. This is easily treated by over the counter pain killers. Detailed post-operative instructions will be given to you on the day of your treatment appointment.
How successful is the treatment?
The success rate of Root Canal Treatment is of the order of about 85%. In case of failure, either re-treatment, surgery or tooth extraction may be considered. The estimated success rate for treating your tooth will be discussed at the time of the consultation after the dentist has gathered all the necessary information specific to your case.
What are the alternatives to root canal treatment?
Normally the alternative options to root canal treatment are extraction, with or without replacement with a denture, bridge or implants. You may opt to have no treatment at all but some of the risks may include: pain, swelling, pus discharge, fracture of the tooth, further bone loss around the tooth due to persistent infection and ultimately losing your tooth.