Our goal, at Contemporary Smiles, is to help preserve your natural teeth for a lifetime so that you can function and chew with confidence.
Root canal (Endodontic) treatment can do this by giving the tooth a second chance after it has been badly damaged. This can happen due to decay, cracking or trauma affecting the pulp (nerve and blood vessels) of the tooth.
Signs and Symptoms include:
- Pain that lingers with hot or cold food and drinks
- Pain to chewing
- Discolouration of the tooth.
Radiographic examination can reveal localized destruction of the bone around the tips of the roots of the teeth.
When we are presented with this we have 2 options, root canal treatment with the placement of a Cerec designed and milled crown or extraction.
Despite the advancement in implant technology and techniques, we at Contemporary Smiles feel that maintaining the tooth is the best outcome for our patients.
What happens during treatment?
The area is numbed up with local anaesthetic allowing the procedure to be done without pain or discomfort. Root canal treatment has a bad reputation for causing pain but contrary to this, it is actually the solution to the pain and discomfort people are experiencing due a toothache!
Any old restorations, decay or cracks are removed to get access to the root canal inside the tooth. The nerve is cleaned from inside the root canal and a root canal antibiotic is placed for a one week period. Typically this resolves any discomfort within about 48 hours. Following this, the final root canal filling is placed during the second appointment.
Protecting the cusps with a cerec designed and milled ceramic overlay (crown) is a key part to ensuring the survival of the tooth into the long term. This helps to seal the tooth adequately to prevent bacteria from reinfecting the root canal and to prevent the fracture of the remaining weakened tooth structure.
Often teeth that have had root canal treatment but get extracted, have failed because this last critical step has not been completed and the tooth crumbles. Studies show that the majority of cases where root canal treated teeth get extracted is as a result of the failure to place adequate protection of the crown rather that the endodontic treatment itself!
Our Promise to you
While we cannot guarantee a successful outcome in every case, we can guarantee that we use the latest technology such as apex locators, digital and cone beam radiographic diagnostics and the latest techniques to provide a reasonably predictable outcome. We only take on cases that we feel confident of a good outcome for our patients.
We also can readily identify where we won’t achieve a predictable outcome due to the level of difficulty for example where a root canal treatment needs to be redone. In this situation we can make the appropriate referral to our local root canal specialist (Endodontist), Dr Gary Verdickt.
Even with the advance of implant therapy and its greater predictability, our preference is always to maintain the tooth.
Unfortunately, sometimes teeth are too badly damaged to worth trying to hold onto and we will never advise to throw good resources after bad!