Root canal treatment is required when the nerve inside the tooth becomes infected or inflamed through injury or advanced decay that have been left for too long.
The advantages to root canal treatment includes:
- Alleviating toothache pain.
- Prevents bacteria spreading to the jawbone and form an absess.
- Maintains the original tooth for function and esthetic as opposed to having to replace with an artificial tooth.
Root canal treatment usually requires a number of visits whereby the infected / inflamed nerve tissue is removed, and the root canal system cleaned and disinfected. The now empty root canal system is filled to prevent the re-population of bacteria and subsequent infection. The tooth is then restored to full function with a filling or a crown depending on the amount of sound tooth structure remaining. In most instance, the tooth becomes very brittle as we often start with a tooth that has a huge hole initially, and the tooth tends to become drier and more brittle after root canal treatment, so these teeth often need a crown afterwards to protect it from fracturing.
How will you know if you need root canal treatment?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be in need of root canal treatment.
- Pain on biting.
- Throbbing pain that comes from nowhere, and may refer to other regions of mouth.
- Swelling of face or gum.
We prefer to save natural teeth and provide root canal treatment as we know this is best. And even with the advent of dental implants, nothing is built or made like your natural tooth. However in most cases where we encounter teeth needing root canal treatment, more often than not, the tooth is either heavily filled or has a huge cavity caused by advanced decay that has been left for too long. As a result, there is not enough tooth structure remaining to warrant saving the tooth with root canal treatment and a crown as the limited tooth structure will increase the risk of the tooth fracturing in these situations. In this instance, we would highly recommend to remove the tooth and replace it with either an implant, a denture, or a bridge as we know it is a much more predictable treatment that will have the best possible long term prognosis.