How A Root Canal Treatment Can Save Your Teeth
Deep decay, cracks, chips or damage to a tooth or repeated dental treatment can eventually take its toll on your oral health. If any bacteria manage to make their way inside of a tooth, the pulp can become infected. The pulp is at the centre of your tooth and consists of connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels.
If it becomes infected, it can be extremely painful with other symptoms including prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, sore to touch, difficulty chewing and/or discolouration of the tooth. If left untreated, an infected pulp can lead to an abscess in the tooth.
How does root canal treatment help?
The endodontist will effectively remove the inflamed or infected pulp. The pulp only has an important role to play during the growth and development of the tooth. Therefore once the tooth has matured, it can survive without the pulp through nourishment from the connective tissues.
Your dentist will clean and shape the inside of the root canal before filling and sealing the space left in the absence of the pulp. Your dentist may need to place antibiotics into the empty pulp if the infection was quite severe and temporary seal it.
This is to ensure all signs of infection are completely removed before the tooth is fully restored. You will then be required to return to your dentist so that they can place a crown or other form of tooth restoration to completely restore it to full function.
It looks and functions like any of the rest of your teeth. No more sensitivity or intense pain and no gaps in your teeth! You can continue to smile with confidence.
Will the treatment be painful?
One of the key reasons why people shy away from saving their tooth via a root canal treatment is because they fear the treatment will be painful. However the treatment is performed under local anaesthetic.
Once the tooth is numb, the dentist will put a “dental dam” – a small protective sheet, in place to keep it clean as they conduct the procedure. The majority of patients find themselves feeling entirely comfortable through treatment.
In the initial period following your root canal treatment, the tooth may feel quite sensitive; especially if the infection was quite sever prior to the procedure.
This can usually be relived with over the counter medication.
However your dentist will advise on the best source of treatment for any discomfort. The tooth may continue to experience unusual sensations long after treatment however if any level of persistent pain is experienced, you should immediately contact your dentist.
The slight level of discomfort you may experience following a root canal procedure cannot be compared with the extreme pain one can experience if an infected pulp is left untreated or if an abscess sets in.
How much will it cost?
A root canal for a front tooth can cost from €300 while a root canal for a premolar costs from €400. Upon inspection of your tooth and once an assessment has made been of the level of damage or infection as well as the tooth restoration method required, your dentist can advise on how much the procedure may cost.
Your procedure will likely be covered to some degree of cost by your dental insurance provider.
Endodontic treatments like root canal treatments are also eligible for tax relief at the standard rate of 20% so you will be able to claim a tax rebate to that effect.
When assessing the costs, it’s important to appreciate that these costs result in your tooth being saved – no more extreme pain and no need for the tooth to be removed!
If you suspect that you have an infected tooth, it is important to have it assessed as soon as possible. An infected tooth can spell further oral hygiene issues so it is important to visit your dentist and explore your options.