Root canal treatments are a common and simple dental procedure that can save a natural tooth. They are typically performed by a general dentist but more complex procedures such as the location of the tooth or root with several canals may be referred to an endodontist, a dentist who specialises in treating the interior of the tooth.

What is root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is a procedure that treats the nerves in the tooth. During root canal treatment the dental pulp will be removed, and all the canals that lead to the pulp chamber are sealed, so bacteria does not enter and cause further infection.

Symptoms of needing root canal treatment

Discomforts, swelling of the gums and other signs of infection signal you have a dental problem. Extreme tooth sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli, darkening of a tooth around the gum line or discomfort when you bite down as also signs you may need root canal treatment. 

Some people may not exhibit any symptoms, so it is important to attend regular dental check-ups.

What are the steps for root canal treatment?

Typically, one to three appointments is needed to complete the treatment. If you are an anxious patient discuss the steps of root canal treatment in Rotherham with your dentist.

a) Cleaning the root canal

Once the tooth has been numbed your dentist will remove the diseased and infected pulp tissue using a small file-like tool through a small hole in the crown of your tooth. Then they will flush and clean the pulp chamber and root canals. They may need to reshape or enlarge your natural root canals to make room for the rubber-like filling.

B) Filling the root canal

To prevent bacterial regrowth the root canals are filled with a rubber-like material called gutta percha. The thin shaped gutta percha are dipped in a calcium hydroxide cement which help seals the gaps. Once the roots are filled, the tooth is ready for a standard filling or a crown.  

C) Adding a crown or filling

Your dentist will restore your tooth with a standard filling or a dental crown. The location of the tooth, whether you grind your teeth, how much tooth structure remains and even your oral health can impact your dentist’s decision on which option is better for your tooth.

Some teeth do not need crowns. Teeth at the front of the mouth may not need crowns because they are used primarily to tear food and are not subject to the same chewing force as your premolars and molars.

4. Do I need a root canal treatment?

During your check-up appointment with your dentist will look at your dental x-rays to view the extent of the infection or trauma to your tooth. Your dentist will advise you on the best course of action to resolve your symptoms. Depending on the cause of the problem a root canal treatment or possibly a less invasive procedure may be recommended to avoid further complications and an extraction.

What are the pros and cons of a root canal treatment?

Pros:

There are countless practical and clinical reasons why saving your natural tooth with a root canal treatment is a good decision. A root canal treatment is a safe procedure with a high success rate that immediately relieves the discomfort from infection allowing you to return to your daily routine. Root canal treatments reduce the need for ongoing dental work and can last a lifetime. They enable you to save your smile, the function of your bite and your jawbone which can atrophy if you have a tooth extraction.

Cons:

Root canal treatments make the tooth brittle and prone to a fracture which is why a dental crown and sometimes a post are used to reinforce the remaining tooth structure. Root canal treatments are more expensive than a simple extraction and require more time in the dental chair. They also don’t work in about 10% of cases.

Some complications of root canal treatment

All dental procedures have a certain risk of having complications. Root canal treatment complications can include damage to the tissue surrounding the tooth, infection, fracturing the root, and damage to the nerves surrounding the tooth. You can also experience a failed root canal treatment if your tooth has a lot of a canals and your dentist missed cleaning and filling one of them.

How much cost for Root Canal treatment?

The cost of dental treatments varies widely; however, saving the tooth by using root canal treatment is cost-efficient. The cost can vary depending on the severity of the diseased tooth and its location in your mouth.

This treatment is less expensive and invasive than having a tooth removed and replaced with an implant, partial removable denture or a fixed bridge. 

Conclusion

A root canal treatment has a success rate of 90% and is an effective and minimally invasive way to save a natural tooth. Avoid the need for a root canal by adhering to a good oral hygiene regimen and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups.

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