Root canal treatment, or endodontic therapy, becomes necessary when the innermost part of the tooth, referred to as the pulp, undergoes irreversible damage usually as a consequence of tooth decay (cavities), trauma, or damage during prior dental procedures (i.e. fillings or crowns). Rather than opting for tooth extraction, root canal treatment often is the preferable choice. Should you need expert endodontic guidance or counsel, your GDP (General Dental Practitioner) may choose to initiate a referral process, particularly if the treatment is complex. Alternatively, you may directly contact me for arranging a consultation. Importantly, your registration with your GDP will not be affected if you choose to have treatment with me. A comprehensive report of all findings and treatments provided will be sent to both you and your dentist. My main priority is that patients:
Feel completely at ease with the entirety of my services.
2. Understand the problem and alternative solutions.
3. Understand the various stages of the proposed treatment.
4. Are aware of costs/timeframes during the consultation process
5. Are encouraged to engage with me adressing any queries/concerns.
A root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure aimed at saving a tooth that has become infected or severely damaged by removing the infected pulp and cleaning, shaping, and sealing the tooth’s root canals.
Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures, cracks, chips, or trauma. It is a way to save the tooth and alleviate pain and discomfort.
Common symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold, swelling of the gums, a pimple-like bump on the gums, and darkening or discoloration of the tooth.
Contrary to popular belief, modern root canal procedures are relatively painless. Anesthetics are used to numb the area, and advancements in techniques and technology have significantly reduced discomfort during and after the procedure.
During a root canal, your endodontist will remove the infected pulp, clean and shape the root canals, and then seal them to prevent further infection. In some cases, a crown may be recommended to restore the tooth’s strength and appearance.
The duration of a root canal procedure can vary depending on the complexity of the case. Generally, a single root canal treatment can take about 1 to 2 hours, and multiple appointments might be necessary for more complex cases.
The main alternative to a root canal is tooth extraction. However, saving your natural tooth through a root canal is usually the preferred option as it maintains your bite, jawbone structure, and overall oral health.
Root canal treatment has a high success rate, often exceeding 90%. Success depends on factors like proper cleaning and sealing of the canals, the condition of the tooth, and how well it is restored afterward.
After a root canal, you should follow your endodontist’s post-operative instructions, which may include taking prescribed medications, avoiding hard or chewy foods, and maintaining good oral hygiene practices. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to ensure proper healing.
In many cases, a tooth that has undergone a root canal will require a crown to protect and strengthen it. The crown restores the tooth’s function and appearance, preventing further damage.
Yes, root canal treatment is a safe and routine dental procedure. Modern techniques and sterilization protocols ensure patient safety and successful outcomes.
Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly can help prevent tooth decay and the need for root canal treatment. Additionally, wearing mouthguards during sports and avoiding biting on hard objects can reduce the risk of dental trauma.
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