What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal therapy (or RCT) is treatment of the infected nerve of a tooth. When bacteria penetrate the centre of the tooth, called the pulp – which consists of sensitive nerves and blood vessels inside the root canal – this part of the tooth can become inflamed and infected, causing pain. If the condition is left untreated, an abscess can form at the root tip and bacteria can spread to the jawbone and the rest of the body.
Infection within a tooth can be treated either by extraction or with root canal therapy. The purpose of root canal therapy is to save the tooth which is done by removing the affected pulp and cleaning the nerve canals with an anti-bacterial preparation, followed by the placement of a temporary filling inside the tooth until a permanent filling and/or crown can be placed.
The immediate benefit of root canal therapy is significant pain relief. In the longer term, the treatment allows for preservation of the tooth. At Happy Smiles our practitioners will always strive to save a tooth, where possible, rather than remove it.
The cost of Root Canal Treatment will vary according to the number of root canals present in a tooth. All patients will receive a detailed treatment plan and estimate of fees prior to any treatment commencing.
What Can You Expect Following Root Canal Treatment?
Once the root canal therapy is finished your dentist may recommend placing a dental crown or similar tooth restoration fitted over the tooth to assist in protecting the already compromised tooth in the longer term. This helps to prevent the tooth from cranking or splitting.
It is important to keep up good oral hygiene after root canal therapy. You can still clean your teeth as normal, though we recommend you be gentle when brushing and flossing the treated area at first. As well as your home routine, you also need to follow up with regular check-ups and cleans with your general dentist to ensure good oral health.
You can expect many years of functionality from any tooth treated by a specialist endodontist. However, for a tooth to require root canal treatment, it has usually already suffered decay, wear or trauma, any of which can compromise the structural integrity of the tooth. Because of this, there are instances in which root canal treatment does not achieve a definitively favourable result long-term.