Root Canal Treatment
Working with you to keep your teeth
Nothing is as good as a natural tooth and with modern dentistry, losing teeth as you get older is not inevitable. With modern technology and contemporary evidence based treatments it may be possible to avoid having teeth extracted and have a pain free alternative to dental implants.
Pain free alternatives to tooth extraction
You may be told a tooth needs to be extracted if it has extensive decay, infection or gum disease. There are often ways of avoiding having a tooth extracted by investing in the tooth. After a consultation, we will assess your teeth to determine the underlying cause of disease in your mouth and work together to prevent new problems developing in the future.
Root Canal Treatment is performed under local anaesthetic allowing us to confidently provide comfortable treatment. A rubber sheet will also be placed over the tooth. This allows us to isolate the tooth and keep it clean throughout the procedure.
An opening is then made in the top of the tooth which allows access into the pulp space. Very small instruments are used to clean and shape the pulp complex within the tooth. The tooth is then disinfected to remove bacteria from within it and then sealed with a rubber material and biocompatible endodontic sealer.
Success is influenced by many factors such as your general health, the gum attachment and bone support around the tooth, the specific bacteria causing the infection, the shape, position and condition of the roots and nerve canals, quality of previous dental care and pre-existing root fractures, all of which can affect individual healing.
Treatment is all carried out to gold standard protocols with state of the art instruments and techniques which help give endodontics predictably high success rates (97% De Fabbro et. al. 2008, 90% Ng et. al. 2010 ) If the technical standard of the treatment drops by not employing contemporary techniques such as providing treatment with microscopic magnification, ensuring thorough disinfection of the root canal system with activated irrigants and providing a three dimensional seal of the disinfected pulp space then success rates drop. Predictability of treatment can drop by half if technical standards are not maintained (Saunders et. al. 1997)
All treatment is performed with the aid of magnification using an operating microscope. This magnifies the tooth up-to twenty times as well as illuminating the inside of the tooth to allow visualisation of the pulpal system within the tooth. This is critical as often, there are accessory canals inside a tooth which are easily missed without magnification and are often a cause of failed primary endodontic treatments.
Cone Beam Computer Tomography allows us to take three dimensional x-rays of your teeth and supporting structures. Due to the increased volume of x-rays needed for 3D scans of teeth, this is not routinely required, however, it is invaluable in cases of failed root treatment where we can assess for extra canals in the tooth which have been missed. It is also a valuable tool in surgical planning where the supporting structures around the end of a tooth can be visualised in all dimensions.
Pain free local anaesthetic is given using ‘the wand’; a computer controlled system for slow painless numbing of your teeth and gums. Patients often report how they feel now discomfort as the tooth goes numb and little or no discomfort after the procedure.
During the procedure, ultrasonic technology is used for activation of disinfectants within the tooth, for removing calcified pulp tissue and washing the inside of the tooth. Thermoplastic gutta-percha techniques are employed for three dimensional sealing of the pulp space within the tooth.
The alternative to endodontic treatment is to leave and monitor the tooth (which can lead to further problems in the future) or extraction of the tooth. Following extraction, there will be a space which you may want restoring. A space can be filled with a denture, bridge or dental implant which is an artificial replacement of the tooth.
Fees for treatment depend on the complexity of the case. Some teeth can be treated in a single visit, whereas others may require multiple sessions. Typically, fees can be £450-£600, however, we will give you an estimated treatment cost following your assessment appointment. The assessment appointment costs £95 and includes all necessary diagnostic tests and correspondence with your normal dentist.
If there is a crown on the tooth to be treated, accessing through the crown can cause porcelain on the crown to fracture which may necessitate replacement.
It is possible for the small instruments used in endodontic treatment to fracture inside the tooth, particularly in curved or narrow canals. The files we use are used only once to try and prevent fracture and are made out of flexible Nickel Titanium. Despite all precautions, file fracture can still occur. If it does, we will try everything to retrieve the fragment, however, if it is not retrievable, we may need to seal the fragment inside your tooth. Should an instrument break, the likelihood of clinical success decreases.
Root canal treatment is an attempt to save a tooth which may otherwise require extraction. Although root canal treatment has a high degree of success, it can not be guaranteed. Occasionally, a tooth which has had root canal treatment may require re- treatment, peri-apical surgery or extraction.
It is important to understand medical procedures carry risks which are outlined above. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask; call us on 0191 286 3398.
After endodontic treatment.
After treatment, it is normal for the tooth to be tender for up-to a week following treatment and is part of the normal healing process. If discomfort persists, contact us.
After treatment, the tooth needs protection to prevent any fractures developing. It is often recommended that a root filled molar tooth is subsequently crowned. For more information about how crowns can protect teeth, click here
A root-filled tooth can still decay but because the nerve is gone you will not feel any pain so regular dental checks are advised.
Will it hurt?
No! Being patient and using a state of the art local anaesthetic delivery system at every stage of the procedure will ensure your comfort. Following treatment the tooth may feel a little tender for a few days, but this can normally be controlled by using the same medication you might use for a headache (ibuprofen and paracetamol taken together usually work well).
For more information about our Root Canal Treatments and advanced endodontic services, please visit www.NewcastleEndo.co.uk