If you have a tooth whose internal structures are damaged, you may benefit from root canal therapy. Also called Endodontics, root canal therapy can restore your tooth to its state of health by treating the damaged part of your tooth.
If you have a choice, it’s always best to keep your natural teeth !
What are the symptoms of root canal (pulp) injury?
The inflammation and infection spread down the root canal, often causing sensitivity to hot or cold foods, throbbing, aching, or pain when you chew. Pain may be prolonged or constant.
Why would I need Root Canal Therapy?
Because the tooth will not heal by itself. Without treatment, the infection will spread, bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate, and the tooth may fall out. Pain usually worsens until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift crookedly, resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy.
What does treatment involve?
Treatment often involves from one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems of the pulp) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed. This is all done under local anesthesia. Contrary to popular myth a root canal is causes very little discomfort!
Once it is determined that treatment is successful, the tooth needs either a filling or a crown to protect it from possible future breakage, because root canal filled teeth are brittle. It is estimated 24 million teeth are treated per year with root canal therapy. If the teeth were instead removed, the options of replacing them are usually more costly and less natural. Those options include implants, cemented on bridges, or removable partial dentures.
What are the risks & complications of RCT ?
More than 95 percent of root canal treatments are successful. However, sometimes a case needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots that went unnoticed or the fracturing of a canal filing instrument used, both of which rarely occur. Very occasionally, a root canal therapy will fail altogether, marked by a return of pain. In such a case, a re-treatment could be indicated.