What is root canal treatment?
Root Canal Treatment, otherwise known as endodontics, is required when the blood and nerve supply of a tooth (known as the tooth pulp) is infected or inflamed through decay or injury. In the early stages of the damage, you may not feel any pain. In some cases, your tooth can darken in colour which may mean that the nerve of that tooth has died. This would need a root canal treatment. The other option is to have the tooth taken out.
What is the cost?
The cost of a root canal treatment depends on the number of nerves (canals) a tooth has. Each nerve (canal) costs £90 each
An incisor/canine tooth has 1 canal
A Premolar tooth has 1 or 2 canals
A molar tooth has 3 or 4 canals.
Why is a Root Canal Treatment required?
When the pulp within a tooth dies or is dying, it can cause severe throbbing pain often preventing the patient from sleeping at night. To try to soothe and eliminate the pain, the inflamed pulp must be removed and dressed with a sedative dressing by means of a root canal treatment to try to save the tooth. Also, a dead pulp can result in an abscess forming around the roots which can cause a swelling and can be very tender to bite on. If the infection within the tooth is not treated, it can spread resulting in a facial swelling. The tooth often needs to be taken out at this stage.
What does it involve?
The aim of the treatment is to remove and clean all the infection and nerve from the root canals. Special instruments are used to achieve this. The root canals are then filled and sealed with a special filling material to prevent further bacteria from entering them.
Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most root canal treated teeth require a crown for long term-success. Your dentist will discuss this with you.
Will it hurt?
No. Local Anaesthetic is used so the treatment should not be any different than an ordinary filling. If patients are very nervous about the procedure, treatment under sedation may be recommended.
Will the pain or infection come back?
Usually no. Root canal treatments can be very successful. However, a percentage of treatments fail usually due to the patient’s own immune system not responding well to the treatment. In such circumstances, a re-treatment may be necessary or the tooth extracted.
What if I don’t want the treatment?
The other alternative to a root treatment is to have the tooth taken out. Once the nerve dies within a tooth, it cannot heal itself. We strongly recommend not to leave any infected teeth in the mouth. This can result in further spread of the infection.