What is basically a root canal treatment ?
Root canal therapy is designed to correct disorders of the dental pulp -- the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Teeth with abscessed, or infected, nerves that cause pain and swelling is removed and in about 95 percent of these cases of pulpal infection, the natural tooth can be saved through modern endodontic procedures.
What Are the Goals of Root Canal Treatment?
As an alternative to an extraction, the goals of root canal treatment are to save the tooth and allow it to be retained in the mouth for many years in a state of health, function and comfort. Root canal treatment is directed towards removing diseased tissue from the inside of the tooth and subsequently filling and sealing the root canal space in order to minimize the possibility of future re-infection and subsequently strengthening it with a full coverage crown.
What causes pulpal nerve damage?
The most common causes of pulpal nerve damage are:
- Physical irritation - generally brought on by aggressive tooth decay (cavity) reaching down to the nerve or through deep fillings, which allows harmful bacteria to reach the nerve resulting in infection and decay
- Trauma - a blow to a tooth or the jaw can cause damage to sensitive nerve tissue within the tooth.
What are the symptoms of pulpal nerve damage?
The following are the most common symptoms of pulpal nerve damage. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Pain in the tooth when chewing food
- Oversensitivity of the teeth with hot or cold drinks
- Facial swelling
The symptoms of pulpal nerve damage may resemble other oral health conditions. Consult a dentist, or other oral health specialist, for diagnosis.
Latest technology which we provide to our patients is through rotary endodontics
For single sitting & painless root canals we are using the latest version of the J.Morita root ZX II Dentaport systems, Japan. This system aids in the accurate length determination of your root canals hence makes it very easy for the clinician to prepare them using rotary files with pin point precision and sealing them completely all in a single or maximum of two sittings depending on the level of infection present. Root canals were never so simple and easily performed.
Why is root canal therapy necessary?
Without treatment, the infection of the dental pulp will spread to the bone around the tooth and sometimes adjoining teeth as well, making it not longer able to hold the tooth in place.
Root Canal Retreatment
Can an Endodontically Failed Tooth Be Retreated?
Even when pain and/or swelling is present, the majority of failing endodontically-treated teeth can be successfully retreated in today's world of clinical possibility. By using scientific information gathered from research and clinical studies, clinicians have developed better endodontic concepts, materials, and techniques. Additionally, there are now better-trained general dentists and specialists alike. All of these factors translate into improved care for patients. The significant technological breakthroughs that benefit both doctors and patients in endodontic retreatment Magnification glasses, fibre optic lighting sources, headlamps, have significantly improved vision and hence elevated treatment success include :
- Computer digital radiography technology allows the doctor to better diagnose, visualize, and treat root canal disease. Additionally, this technology significantly reduces radiation exposure to the patient.
- Improved instruments, better materials for filling and repairing canals, and innovative new technologies have all contributed to significantly improved retreatment success.
Today, well-trained general dentists and specialists alike can oftentimes perform non-surgical endodontic retreatment in a very predictable and time saving manner when compared to other treatment alternatives. At times, however, retreatment cannot be managed with non-surgical efforts alone. In these situations, and as an alternative to extraction, a surgical approach may be necessary. Below is one of the cases redone at our surgery because of the failure of the first treatment. Notice the difference in the preparation and finishing of the nerve filling.
Post-Operative Care Following a Root Canal
After the inside of your tooth has been treated, the outside will be restored to protect your tooth's underlying structures and to bring the tooth back into function. Your dentist will usually cover the tooth with a Ceramic or Metal Ceramic crown. After root canal therapy, your tooth continues to be nourished by the surrounding gums and bone and function normally.
Alternatives To Root Canal Treatment
The only alternative to root canal treatment is the extraction of the problematic tooth. It is wise to consider all of the implications of losing a tooth before having it removed. The decision should not be made hastily or because the tooth is painful. If pain is present and the dentist thinks that the tooth can be saved, the discomfort can first be relieved and then the alternatives explored.
The discussion about tooth replacement alternatives after extraction can be complex because each individual situation is unique and, at times, various specialists may need to be consulted. When considering the alternatives for replacing a missing tooth, a few of the major factors to consider are the long-term predictabilities of the various alternatives, the overall chair time involved in treatment, the esthetic results, the effects on the adjacent and opposing teeth, and the costs. The usual alternatives that a patient has after tooth extraction are:
- A restored dental implant. This restoration involves a surgical procedure to insert the dental implant into the bone, a healing phase of a couple of months and a final restorative phase, which is similar to having a single tooth crown. Significant time and laboratory work is involved.
- A fixed bridge. Fabricating a fixed bridge requires cutting down & preparing the teeth next to the missing tooth so that they can receive the artificial crowns that support the replacement tooth. These teeth must be strong and healthy if they are to be effective bridge supports. Preparing the teeth for crowns could have a detrimental effect on their pulp health, depending on a variety of factors. This possibility needs to be discussed and factored into your decision. Fixed bridges may take multiple appointments to complete and have significant associated costs.
- A removable partial denture. These appliances restore function and esthetics and can be inserted into the mouth and removed at will. Although many teeth are successfully replaced with removable prosthetic appliances, patients may initially find them cumbersome. Removable partial dentures may also temporarily alter phonetics as well as place unfavourable forces on the supporting teeth and soft tissues.
- Not replacing the extracted tooth. This is a poor choice in most situations. Leaving a space after extraction can lead to long-term problems with teeth shifting and tipping, destabilization of the biting system, and esthetic changes in the profile of the face. Financially and psychologically, this could turn out to be the most costly choice over the lifetime of the patient.
After considering and weighing all of the consequences of extraction and all of the alternatives for tooth replacement, in most situations it becomes obvious that well-performed root canal treatment with a protective restoration is the treatment of choice. Root canal treatment is usually the least time-consuming & the least invasive procedure.