Root Canal Treatment
Root canal therapy is one of the most dreaded dental treatments… yet it still remains one of the most cost effective ways to salvage a tooth that is teetering on the edge of being lost.
Why you may need root canal therapy
A root canal is necessary when a bacterial infection infiltrates the nerve and pulp of the tooth. In some severe cases this can completely compromise the nerves, resulting in severe pain and in most cases, an urgent trip to the dentist. Issues arise as the nerve of the tooth only has a tiny blood supply that brings blood and immunity into the nerve chamber inside of the tooth. This tiny amount of immunity is easily overpowered by decay or a crack in a tooth – resulting in the death of the nerve.
A root canal will involve removing all damaged nerves, and restoring the structure of the tooth with a filling. The tooth can be kept as long as it is properly restored and the area inside the tooth (i.e. the nerve canals) is cleaned and free of infection.
Why can’t we just leave the tooth as is?
The infection inside the tooth will fester over time and can spread through the nerve tissue. This kind of infection is also quite painful, so it is not something you, or your dentist, will be able to ignore.
The root canal therapy process
Typically, with root canal therapy, it takes time for your body to resolve the infection around the tooth so it is important to give your body time to heal. We can only treat the infection as quick as you heal. Usually it takes 2 or 3 appointments – depending on how quickly your body deals with the infection – spread over a period of 4-6 weeks (which also spreads the cost!).
Luckily, if you do present with pain, we can often relieve the discomfort quickly and painlessly by placing a dressing on the tooth. Often, patients report that they were pain-free once the anaesthetic wore off!
At Belle Dental, we offer daily emergency appointments to deal with situations just like this. So if you’re suffering, give us a call.
Does the tooth require a crown after root canal therapy?
The need for a crown depends on how broken down the crown of the tooth is. Most teeth treated with root canal therapy at Belle Dental receive a composite resin crown at the beginning of the treatment – so you’ve got a strong tooth to chew on while undergoing the treatment.
At Belle Dental root canals are a last resort
We operate on a simple philosophy – to maintain natural teeth at all costs. We will always recommend visiting the dentist regularly for this reason, as this is the best way to prevent the need for a root canal. If you do neglect to visit the dentist and suffer from a severe bacterial infection then we may recommend root canal therapy as the very last resort. It’s important to know that every root canal could have been prevented with regular dental check-ups so it’s always better to act proactively, rather than reactively when it comes to your dental health.