There are many different reasons for a tooth to require a root canal treatment as its only way to be saved. Are people around you reporting their past bad experiences and starting to make you feel nervous about it?
Don’t worry too much about it: the knowledge, techniques and equipment we use to treat a tooth have changed immensely over the last decade.
You should talk to your dentist at 3Dental about your concerns, and in the meantime, you may want to go through the following Q&A to understand a bit more what exactly is involved with root canal treatment in Dublin.
Why Is Root Canal Necessary?
A root canal is needed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or inflamed or sometimes because of trauma and the tooth is painful and very sensitive.
A root canal removes the dead or dying nerve and gets rid of infection.
Is a root filling the same as a root canal treatment?
Root filling is sometimes used to refer to a root canal treatment. Although technically, it can be defined as follows:
A root filling actually refers to the very last step of a root canal treatment procedure: filling and sealing off the root canal of a tooth after it has been thoroughly emptied and disinfected to prevent bacteria from getting back inside the tooth and causing further trouble. Dr. Thibaut Merit
At the end of the procedure, when the tooth is completely clean, the roots can then be sealed and a strong core filling will also be placed in the crown of the tooth, the part we see in the mouth, to strengthen it and prevent the appearance of cracks or fractures.
To find out more about the root canal treatment procedure, check out our post on 'What Is A Root Canal?'
What is the cost for a root canal and crown?
The inner anatomy of the root canal system of one given tooth can vary greatly one from another. Typically, the further back into the mouth the tooth is, the more complicated the root canal anatomy will be: when incisors usually have only one straight canal to be treated, molars can have three, four, or more, with minor to severe curvatures.
As a result, it takes much more time and skills to carry out a root canal treatment on a molar than an incisor, although these simpler teeth can also have their challenges!
Very often, root canal treated teeth will benefit from having a prosthetic crown fitted to make them stronger and last longer in the mouth. The prices for a crown at 3Dental, depending on the material chosen, are €400-500.
Here are the costs for root canal treatment:
|Root Canal Treatment||Cost|
Also, when a previous root canal treatment has failed, the tooth may require a root canal retreatment to fix any possible mistakes that have previously occurred. Root canal retreatments cost are outlined below unless there are obstacles in the way (broken instrument, posts, perforations).
In this scenario, the tooth needs to be assessed by our endodontist so the time needed and the price for it can be given to you.
|Root Canal Retreatments||Cost|
A full list of endodontic prices can be found on our endodontic pricing page.
Is root canal dangerous?
Dental conditions leading to a root canal treatment are seldom dangerous. Most of the time, the problem is localised on one tooth only and will rarely affect other anatomical structures. In any case, whatever the problem is initially, root canal treatment is the cure for it.
The procedure is highly skill-sensitive, and has to be carried out with the right equipment and background knowledge. Done in a correct fashion, the treatment is absolutely safe.
Sometimes complications can arise during the procedure: an endodontic file can break inside a severely curved canal, for example. Again, nothing dangerous here, most complications can be dealt with and do not affect the prognosis of the treatment.
The worst that can happen during these procedures is not to be able to disinfect the whole root canal system and therefore affecting the long term prognosis of the tooth.
Root canal treatments are successful in 90-95% of the cases. When failure does happen, there may still be options to save the tooth and if not, then the tooth can always be extracted and replaced with an implant; a bridge or a denture. Dr. Thibaut Merit
When a root canal fails the only option is to redo the root canal or to do an apicectomy (this is when the end of the root is cut off to get rid of the infected area), if this cannot be done the only other option is extraction.
It is usually possible to replace an extracted tooth with an implant.
Can I avoid root canal?
The most recent recommendations from the European Society of Endodontics are clear: whenever there is a chance a root canal treatment can be avoided, it should be avoided.
Unfortunately, these cases are not that frequent: all dead/infected teeth will require a root canal treatment and only a small portion of vital teeth can benefit from vital pulp therapy.
The difference between vital pulp therapy and root canal treatment can be outlined as follows:
|Aim of Vital Pulp Therapy||Aim of Root Canal Treatment|
|To preserve the healthy part of the dental nerves and blood vessels (the pulp of the tooth) to maintain its vitality.||To remove all organic tissue from the tooth to preserve its function.|
When possible, vital pulp therapy has the same success rate as a root canal treatment, and in the rare cases where it fails, classic root canal is always possible.
What are alternatives to root canal?
When a root canal treatment is needed, the only alternative to it is to take the tooth out.
Both alternatives have the same purpose: removing the cause of the pain or the infection, only the root canal treatment achieves this by removing solely the diseased part of the tooth (the pulp), when the extraction removes the whole tooth, leaving a gap behind.
Root canal treatments carried out under the right conditions and protocols have a success rate of 90-95%, which means that even the best treatment in the world, in some rare cases, can fail.
When this happens, if retreatment or endodontic surgery (apicectomy) are not possible, there is still the option of taking the tooth out.
Alternatively, opting for the extraction right away does not leave much option if the implant or the bridge placed to replace the missing tooth fails.
Will my teeth look different after the root canal?
A tooth that has had a root canal treatment can sometimes get a bit darker. It is actually not because of the treatment itself but because of the disease that led to the need of a root canal.
Infected tissues or blood can stain the crown of the tooth (the part we see in the mouth), and it can happen right when the tooth is infected or at a later stage, even after the root canal procedure.
When this happens, it is always possible to make the tooth look normal again by doing some special internal whitening in the tooth, as classic tooth whitening kits will not be as effective on a root canal treated tooth, or by placing a crown on it which can also be used to strengthen, re-shape and change the shade of the problematic tooth.
Our Endodontic Team
Our endodontic team at our Dublin is headed up by Dr. Thibaut Merit.
Dr. Merit, has been specialising in the area of endodontics for many years, and continues to train around the world alongside the greatest names in this field.
Find out more about our great 3Dental team on our Meet the Team page.