One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘when is a root canal needed?’. And if your root canal is infected, we definitely recommend as soon as possible!
If you’ve been told you need a root canal, you may be feeling a little apprehensive. After all, any kind of dental work can be a daunting thought.
We’re here to reassure you that there’s nothing to worry about. Root canal treatment is simple, effective, relatively pain-free, and much better than suffering the pain!
What is a root canal?
Each tooth has a nerve and blood supply. Sometimes the nerve in a tooth becomes upset because of trauma, decay, or having had previous or recent dental treatment. This may result in the nerve becoming inflamed or losing its blood supply. You may then develop pain, swelling or tenderness on your tooth. A root canal treatment is used to treat the tooth and to increase the life expectancy of the tooth.
When is a root canal needed?
A root canal is needed when you have pain and symptoms that mean the tooth has an infection that needs to be addressed. The alternative to root canal would be extraction and losing a tooth.
Symptoms of a pulp infection include pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drink, pain when biting or chewing and a loose tooth.
As the infection progresses, these symptoms often disappear as the pulp dies. Your tooth then appears to have healed, but the infection has in fact spread through the root canal system.
To remove the bacteria, and alleviate the pain, root canal treatment is needed.
So, if you ever ask your dentist; ‘when is a root canal needed?’, their definite answer will be ASAP.
What is root canal procedure?
All root canal treatments are done under local anaesthetic to make it a more comfortable procedure. Generally the pain level is very low and treatment is straightforward.
To reach the infection, a small access hole will be created in the tooth. This is to allow your dentist to access the pulp chamber in the tooth where the infected nerve lives. But don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing because the area will be numb!
Next, the canals will be flushed with antibacterial solution, and then filled with a rubberlike biocompatible material. Then the access hole will receive a filling, preventing bacteria from once again entering the tooth. A crown is usually recommended after as most root canal treatments fail because of the tooth breaking afterwards.
Sometimes the root treatment is too complicated and needs specialist referral. This option may be discussed with your dentist. The reason for this is because of complicated root anatomy that makes treatment difficult and a specially trained endodontist is needed to complete the treatment to ensure a high success rate.
How much is root canal treatment?
For private patients, our prices start at £125.
We understand that dental work can come as a surprise to both yourself and your wallet. That’s why we also offer various finance options for all treatments, helping spread the cost. For more info, get in touch.
When properly restored, a root-canal-treated tooth can last for a lifetime.