To save a natural tooth should always be your first choice when dental care is needed. There is no complete replacement for your natural teeth.
Root canal treatment can often save the most severely injured tooth. If a tooth cannot be saved, you may consider replacement of the tooth with a bridge or dental implant.
Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
• An abscess (draining fistula) on the gums.
• Severe sensitivity to hot and cold.
• Severe toothache pain.
Reasons for root canal therapy:
• Decay (caries) has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
• Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
• Injury or trauma to the tooth.
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. Endodontic treatment can also be necessary in cases where trauma has destroyed a large part of the tooth. Endodontic treatment (root canal treatment) treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic means ‘inside the tooth’.
How does root canal treatment work?
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleaning and shaping the inside of the canal, and filling and sealing the canal.
Thereafter, a crown or other restoration will be placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections or fracture of the remaining tooth structure.
Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth. In some cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or the pain continues. The tooth may then become painful or diseased months or even years after endodontic treatment.
Often when this occurs, redoing the endodontic procedure can save the tooth. Dr Doman will make the decision on the long-term prognosis of the specific tooth and if it is not better to do an extraction and rather place an implant with an implant supported crown.
When symptoms persist after endodontic treatment, endodontic surgery may be able to save the tooth. Endodontic surgery may also be indicated when parts of the root canal is obstructed.
The only other alternative is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting.
Endodotic surgery is normally performed by an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist. The surgeon will make a small incision on the outside of the tooth to ascertain access to the infection around the root.
The infected material is then removed, the area cleaned properly and the root is sealed from the outside.