When those dreaded words of “root canal” appear in your consultation, many people have perceptions/bad experiences and opt to have the tooth removed because of the fear of undergoing the treatment. Lets explore the reasons why a root canal is needed and tackle some of the myths that are around.

Toothache should always prompt a visit to the dentist, because it is often an indication of either tooth decay or infection, which is why it is usually needed. Root canal therapy will be prescribed by your dentist when the pulp or nerve at the centre of your tooth becomes infected with bacteria. This can happen as a result of tooth decay, or from injuries to the tooth. That’s why it is important to get even the most minor chips and cracks in a tooth’s surface treated by a dentist as soon as possible.

Endodontic treatment (root canal treatment) involves your dentist using special files/instruments to cleanse the tooth of infection. After cleaning the space inside the root this is then filled to stop further infection occurring.

Root canal treatment is one of those procedures with a bad reputation, which can evoke fear in even the bravest of dental patients. However, with modern techniques and materials, this reputation is unwarranted. Root canal treatment is pain free! It is also essential to saving your tooth. Untreated tooth infection can quickly become unbearably painful, a dental abscess may occur and if you continue to ignore it can result in you losing your tooth.

Root canal treatment involves the use of special tools to cleanse your tooth of all traces of infection. It often requires a longer appointment to ensure that the infection has completely gone before the dentist permanently fills the tooth. Often, after root canal treatment, it is beneficial to place a crown on your tooth for extra strength.

There is always an option to visiting a specialist endodontist who is a dentist who has undertaken additional training to specialise in endodontics – aka root canal treatment.

“I have had root canal before and it still hurt afterwards?”

Dentistry is a medical field that is constantly advancing in terms of technology, making thing like root canal treatment significantly more successful than years past. As with all other medical treatment, however, complications may still occur. These little problems could be due to the body’s failure to adjust to the procedure or your shortcoming in terms of post-treatment maintenance.

Root canal treatments may be more advanced, but slight pain after the procedure is still a normal response. Expect the pain to be mild, your tooth tender to bite and your gum sensitive to touch. You can manage the ache by taking painkillers or avoiding the area when eating. It should subside after. If this is not the case, then:

Your Teeth Could Be Fractured

Expect teeth to be weak after treatment, especially considering how it suffered through the original damage or decay and through the access cavity that came as a result of the procedure. As they are weak, they could crack easily and cause you stressful amounts of pain.

Fractures could also necessitate another procedure: extraction. This all depends on the extent of the crack; if the pain or swelling post-treatment do not subside after a few weeks, it is best to consult with a trusted dental professional.

Despite the previously mentioned dental and technological advancements, there are still difficult cases that result in failed root canal treatments. To illustrate, tight, curved nerve canals and teeth are difficult to access. This could result in problems getting treatment completed because of the limited opening.

Therefore this treatment is not always warranted.

With all dental treatment, it is pain free with the right anaesthesia, comfortable setting and correct techniques!