Root Canal Treatment
Pulpal disease is the most common reason for root canal treatment (RCT) and occurs when bacteria infiltrate the pulp in the core of your teeth via cracks, decay or following trauma. Some common symptoms include:
- Continuous pain
- Extreme or prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold
- Discomfort when chewing or biting
- Discoloration of a tooth
- Facial swelling
However, pulpal disease may also present without any symptoms at all!
Pulpal infection is different to normal infections because antibiotics alone cannot fight off the infection. Without root canal treatment, the bacteria can hide in the narrow root canal, continue to cause disease and spread to the rest of your body. Tooth and gum infections have long been associated to with cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the infected teeth should not be left untreated as they can cause life long health complications.
With proper care, root canal treated teeth can last for many years but it’s possible for the infection to persist despite our best efforts and cause these teeth to heal improperly, become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment.
Retreatment may be required if your tooth has previously undergone root canal treatment and your symptoms persist or return. This can occur due to:
- Complicated canal anatomy undetected in the initial procedure
- Narrow or curved canals which were untreated or partially treated in the initial procedure
- Delayed placement of the permanent restoration
- Re-occurrence of decay in the RCT tooth.
- Loose, cracked, fractures or broken tooth
The treatment process is similar to a normal RCT however requires the removal of the pre-existing root filling. Retreatment gives your tooth a second chance but has a lower rate of success compared to the initial treatment and is not indicated for some patients.
Root canal treatment may be required even in the absence of symptoms or infection when placing a crown or bridge. They are often required for 2 reasons:
- Insufficient tooth structure: Crowns and bridges rely on existing tooth structure for retention however if there is insufficient tooth structure, elective treatment can provide space for a post which provides the support required.
- High risk of pulpal infection: Elective treatment may be undertaken prior to placement of a crown or bridge to prevent complications and more complex treatment in the future.
What to expect when getting root canal treatment at Castle Hill Dental Care
ASSESS AND DISCUSS
Communication is key to providing you with the best possible care. Our dentists will listen to your concerns and will ALWAYS discuss your treatment options with you.
X-rays may be required to help with an accurate diagnosis
Our priority is to get YOU back to your daily life ASAP. At your first appointment, your dentist will ensure you are entirely numb before removing the nerve and placing medication in the canals to combat the infection and symptoms.
We pride ourselves on providing high quality treatment and ensuring that sufficient time is given for every patient. Including this appointment ensures that your tooth is properly cleaned, shaped, asymptomatic and ready to receive the final root filling.
A root filling and permanent filling will be placed to seal off your tooth and prevent re-infection. We want to ensure long-term survival of your tooth and YOU get the most out of your tooth so further treatment a crown and regular check-ups is recommended
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an alternative to root canal treatment?
Unfortunately, teeth requiring root canal treatment are often badly broken down. The only alternative is extraction. Although extraction is initially cheaper, replacement of the missing tooth will result in additional costs and can never replace your natural teeth.
Will I be in pain during or after the procedure?
Endodontic treatment, contrary to popular belief, is a comfortable procedure involving little to no pain as you will be completely anaesthetised prior to treatment. However, you may experience a dull pain within the first few days after the procedure which can be managed with mild analgesics.
If you experience severe pain, or if your discomfort lasts for more than several days, please Contact your dentist for advice.
Is IV or Gas Sedation available?
We understand the dental chair can often be an intimidating place to be. To ensure you can get the treatment you need in comfort, our dentists are fully trained to administer gas sedation (nitrous oxide, or commonly known as ‘laughing gas’) to help with any dental anxiety. For more information on how this can work for you, please refer here or make an enquiry today!
How many appointments does root canal treatment take?
The root canal treatment itself has 3 main appointments.
- At your first appointment, your dentist will conduct a number of tests and taken an x-ray to help make a diagnosis and treatment plan. The pulp of the affected tooth will then be removed before a medicament and a temporary restoration can be placed to help seal off the tooth from bacteria.
- The second appointment will involve a final cleaning and shaping of your root canal to accommodate for the final filling in your last appointment. Another medicament and temporary restoration will be placed at the end of your appointment.
- During the third appointment, the final root filling material and permanent filling can be placed. If a crown or more complex permanent restoration is required, further appointments will be booked for you.
Do I need a crown?
Following root canal treatment, the tooth becomes much drier and more susceptible to fracture. If there is insufficient tooth structure remaining, the tooth may benefit from a crown. The crown not only helps to hold the tooth together and reduce the risk of fracture, but also provides a better seal for your root canal treatment to prevent re-infection.
Your dentist will be able to assess this at the start of treatment and inform you if this is required. For more information on crowns please click here , or enquire with our friendly staff today!
Is re-treatment for root canals common?
Studies have shown over 95% of endodontic treatments are successful. However, occasionally initial treatment can fail due to the presence of additional small canals and hidden anatomical features.
Retreatment may also be required if there is reinfection due to new trauma, decay or broken fillings which allows bacteria to re-enter the tooth.