A root canal treatment may be necessary to save a tooth damaged by trauma, decay or disease.
What is root canal treatment?
A root canal is performed to relieve pain from a toothache. Toothache occurs when the nerve in the tooth dies off, usually as a result of decay, trauma, gum disease, extreme wear or even cracks present in the tooth structure from old amalgam fillings. A root canal involves removing this infected nerve from your tooth, cleaning out bacteria in the nerve that is causing you pain, and sealing it to prevent re-infection and recurrent toothache.
Once this matter is removed the cavity is filled with a permanent filling, and finally fitted with a crown. Your tooth has now been saved and you are now free from a toothache. If root canal work is avoided and the situation worsen, the infection will become more severe and eventually lead to an abscess (A collection of pus that causes a bacterial infection and can spread to surrounding tissue with ease) this can be very damaging to your overall health and wellbeing.
The treatment is necessary because:
- Chronic area of infection noted on radiograph accompanied with or without pain
- The nerve within the tooth has become infected and is irreversibly damaged
- Without treatment, there is a high risk of continued infection, swelling or severe pain
- Without treatment the long term prognosis of the tooth is very poor and the tooth may have to be extracted
- This tooth has been determined to be an important tooth for the purpose of proper oral function and aesthetics and needs RCT to gain retention for the crown
- The pain is lingering in nature lasting more than few minutes and often needs painkillers to reduce it.
The benefits of this treatment are:
- Removal of infection from the tooth and surrounding bone and gum
- Elimination of pain
- Prevention of the early loss of the tooth
- Full and proper function of the tooth
We understand the fear that has been generated around root canal treatments and the theory of focal infection. We respect our patient’s wishes and will remove infected teeth if it is their wish and we will do it in the correct way. However, we feel very patronage about retaining teeth and believe there is a large area about the risks of extraction that has not been touched upon. We will endeavour to give our patients all of the information for and against retaining the tooth and respect their decision if they have all the information to meet the legal requirement for informed consent.
In our practice, we use biocompatible materials and modern techniques to limit the risks as far as possible. This integration of newer materials and techniques has lead to a far greater success rate for root canals. So we do believe that there is such a thing as a successful root canal treatment.