Endodontics is more commonly known as root canal treatment. It is necessary when the blood and nerve supply (pulp) of the tooth is infected through decay or injury. This can lead to the common “dental abscess” and severe dental pain and facial infections. Endodontic therapy removes this dead or dying tissue thereby sterilising this area of the tooth and preventing such problems.
It is very important to treat root canal problems at the earliest possible stage. Leaving the infection untreated causes a lot of pain and can be dangerous. Endodontic treatment is a specialised area of dentistry and is often best carried out by a Specialist clinician. If you would like more information on how to treat cracked teeth, endodontic treatment, surgery, or retreatment please contact our practice in Manor House Dental & Implant Clinic where we will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.
Q: Is a root canal treatment painful?
A: Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your endodontist’s instructions carefully.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days, call your endodontist.
Q: Is a good alternative to root canal treatment extraction?
A: Saving your natural teeth, if possible, is the very best option.
Nothing can completely replace your natural tooth. An artificial tooth can sometimes cause you to avoid certain foods. Keeping your own teeth is important so that you can continue to enjoy the wide variety of foods necessary to maintain the proper nutrient balance in your diet.
Endodontic treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost-effective way to treat teeth with damaged pulp and is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of a bridge or an implant.
Endodontic treatment also has a very high success rate. Many root canal-treated teeth last a lifetime.
Placement of a bridge or an implant will require significantly more time in treatment and may result in further procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.
Millions of healthy endodontically treated teeth serve patients all over the world, years and years after treatment. Those healthy teeth are helping patients chew efficiently, maintain the natural appearance of their smiles and enhance their enjoyment of life. Through endodontic treatment, endodontists and dentists worldwide enable patients to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.
Q: What should I expect following endodontic treatment?
A: The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, and the irritated tissue and bacteria that have caused you to need root canal treatment are gone.
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications. Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.
Q: Do I need to do anything else after my treatment is completed?
A: Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.
Contact your dentist within two weeks to arrange your next appointment. If your tooth is being treated in more than one visit by an endodontist, do not return to your dentist for the final restoration until the root canal treatment is completed.
Q: Can you tell me if my clinician is a Registered Specialist or Board-certified?
A: Specialist Endodontists who are on the Specialist register in the UK can be found on the General Dental Council website
All AAE member endodontists are licensed by the country in which they practice. Some endodontists have chosen to become Diplomates of the American Board of Endodontics and are “Board-certified.” You can search for an endodontist who has achieved Diplomate status through the American Board of Endodontics Web site.