Endodontics The aim of the Root Canal Treatment, also called endodontic treatment, is to save a tooth that has been badly damaged due to decay, disease or injury. Many millions of teeth each year are saved from extraction by having root canal treatment. Most people prefer to save their tooth because it will generally function better, is usually stronger and more efficient for biting and chewing then an artificial tooth.
Repeated dental work to the tooth, infection or inflammation of the pulp can be caused by:
Breakdown of a filling or a crown
A deep cavity
Crack or chip in the tooth
Root Canal Treatment involves cleaning and shaping of each canal, placement of antibacterial medication and eventually filling the root canals and sealing the pulp chamber. A root canal treated tooth usually needs to be protected by a crown.
Endodontic treatment (Root canal therapy) – a specialised type of dentistry treating diseased pulps of teeth. The tooth to be considered for endodontic therapy is a strategic member of your chewing apparatus. Endodontics cannot be performed on every tooth, and only after a thorough examination can this be determined.
The pulp is contained in a canal running down the centre of the tooth. It consists chiefly of nerves and blood vessels and this pulp is one of the two sources of nutrition of the tooth. The other source comes from the surrounding tissues that cover the roof surface, and becomes the more important source of vitality to the tooth. Therefore, it is evident that a tooth with the pulp tissues removed is not a “dead tooth”, but rather should be referred to as a pulpless tooth. It is advisable to treat a diseased pulp because it could possibly become a source of infection, which in turn might flare-up at any time.
A diseased pulp can occur as a result of deep decay which reaches the pulp. Such decay may also occur under fillings. Other causes of pulp disease include blows to a tooth (e.g. in an accident) or excessive wear of teeth.
Endodontic treatment consists of removal of the diseased pulp from the tooth, gaining sterility and completely sealing the canal with a filling material. This takes 2, 3, 4 or more visits, depending partially upon the complexity of the tooth. It may be necessary to carry out surgery on certain teeth. If this is the treatment of necessity, you will be so informed.
Previously, the dental profession was quick to condemn a tooth with a diseased pulp. It is easier to extract than to treat a tooth: however, it is not as easy to replace a strategic tooth with a satisfactory artificial substitute. Today, fortunately, dental patients are so educated that they prefer to save and retain their own teeth whenever possible. Cosmetics is not their only consideration. They wish to maintain a well-functioning chewing apparatus. No degree of dental skill will ever construct the perfect replacement for an extracted tooth. Retention of a tooth with endodontic treatment can often mean the difference between wearing a permanent or a removable bridge, and in some instances, complete upper and/or lower dentures. But remember, all teeth cannot be treated endodontically.
Occasionally, shortly after a blow or after an accident a tooth may discolour. Apart from this, pulpless teeth do not discolour or turn black. The discolouration which used to be associated with these teeth was due to old fashioned drugs which are no longer used. Nevertheless pulpless teeth may still be a shade darker than usual. In many cases it is possible to bleach these teeth or if cosmetics is a prime concern, you own dentist will be able to construct a crown (cap) for the tooth.
Pulpless teeth do not jeopardise your health. After they have been treated and all infection has been eliminated, they cannot cause trouble anywhere else in the body. In order to make sure that a root treated tooth remains free from infection, you will be recalled periodically after the conclusion of treatment to enable us to determine whether healing has taken place A separate charge will be made for this examination which will include the taking of a radiograph.
Root Canal Therapy is a PAINLESS PROCEDURE.
Complete treatment averages 3-5 visits.
Very occasionally a reaction (e.g. tenderness) may occur between visits. These reactions may tend to prolong treatment, but do not change the chances of success. In the event of such reactions occurring please contact the surgery immediately.
No tooth will be treated unless there is a very good chance of success, but no guarantee can be given. While there is no certainty concerning healing after completion of treatment, it is expected for this to occur in approximately 95 per cent of cases. If the chances of success are estimated below this average. you will be so informed.
Following Root Canal Therapy you will be referred back to the general dentist, who will restore the tooth with a filling or a crown.
Pulpless teeth are more brittle than other teeth. They may break or snap off at any time during or after treatment. The proposed treatment will be carried out in such a manner that your dentist can utilize the root of the tooth for the construction of a crown.
We will make an appointment with your dentist within a week after being discharged
Fees vary with the difficulty or complexity of the treatment.
Fees, once quoted remain the same. except:-
When appointments are cancelled resulting in prolonged treatment.
Broken appointments, without proper notification.
If further treatment, surgery or cyst treatment becomes necessary.
If treatment is not commenced within 60 days of original consultation.
Progressive payments are requested during treatment. Your account should be finalised at the last visit.