Root Canal Treatment
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure used to save a tooth that has infected or dead pulp and stop the dead pulp from spreading.
Each tooth contains pulp which provides it with nerves as well as nutrients. There are instances where the pulp tissue can die when damaged or infected. A root canal treatment usually saves the affected tooth/teeth by removing the diseased pulp and also reshaping the canal. If this treatment is not carried out, the tissue will be infected and this could result in formation of abscesses.
Infection is usually triggered by bacteria that exist inside the mouth and attack the teeth. This may occur after the following:
- Tooth decay
- Leaky fillings
- Injury to the teeth due to trauma (for example a fall)
Root Canal Treatment Costs
Root canal treatment is determined by personal circumstances.
Costs start from $650
Previously, teeth with damaged pulps were extracted. Luckily, these days root canal treatment provides dentists with a solution that is both safe and affordable to help you save the tooth and maintain your natural smile.
Symptoms of Pulp Tissue Damage
People can experience signs of pulp tissue damage differently. However, the most common indications of infected or damaged pulp include:
- Oversensitivity when you are eating/drinking hot or cold food/drink
- Aching when you are biting or chewing
- Loose tooth
Often, these symptoms vanish as the infection advances and the pulp dies. At this point, your tooth seems to have healed while in actual fact, the infection has spread throughout the centre of a tooth (the root canal system).
Sooner or later, additional symptoms occur. These include:
- Aching when biting or chewing
- Inflammation of the gum close to the affected tooth
- Facial swelling
- Emission of pus from the affected tooth
- The tooth turning to a darker colour
These symptoms can as well be an indication of other oral health complications. As such, they may not always mean that you are a candidate for root canal treatment. It is recommended that you visit a dentist if you experience toothache or discomfort.
Bear in mind that should your tooth get infected, the pulp cannot just heal on its own. Antibiotics are not effective when it comes to treating root canal infections. If the infected or damaged tooth is left untreated for too long, it may become worse and finally, the root canal treatment may not work.
Why Do I Need Treatment?
Root canal treatment is necessary because your tooth cannot heal on its own. Leaving it untreated might result in the following:
- Formation of an abscess at the tooth’s root
- Deterioration of the bone tissue under the tooth
- Acute pain
Your dentist may not be able to save your tooth if you delay treatment for too long. In addition, the infection might spread to adjacent teeth, and this could possibly lead to:
- Blood poisoning
- Swelling in both face and neck
Root Canal Procedure
A root canal procedure is a simple process with either slight or no discomfort. It usually involves between one and three dental appointments.
This is how it is done:
The dentist makes an opening through the surface of the tooth right to the pulp cavity.
The damaged or dead pulp is removed before the root canals are wetted and also medicated.
A temporary filling is put in the previously made opening at the tooth’s surface to ensure that it is protected between procedures. On the other hand, the dentist may leave the tooth open to allow it to drain for a few days.
The temporary fillings are removed before the pulp cavity and root canal or canals are cleaned and filled.
A crown is then put over the tooth. Usually, the endodontist carrying out the procedure will recommend that you visit your dentist who will complete this final step.
The majority of patients say that having a root canal procedure today is not as common as getting a filling.