Root canal treatment
The root canal procedure is used to remove diseased pulp tissue from the inside of your tooth and hopefully prevent the loss of your tooth. In order to understand the treatment better it is best to explain briefly the anatomy of the tooth:
The tooth is made of 3 main components:
1) Hard protective outer shell (the bit you would feel if you touched your tooth)
2) softer sensitive middle layer – Dentin.
3) A soft tissue inner layer called Dental Pulp: The dental pulp is composed of nerve tissue, blood vessels etc.
Dental pulp damage may occur as a result of bacterial infection or trauma. The tooth begins to die and root canal treatment is often required to prevent tooth loss. This infection can be extremely painful and so people normally seek out treatment as soon as possible. If however treatment is delayed, it is possible that an abscess can develop and infection may spread to surrounding tissues.
The procedure: Root canal treatment:
Depending on the extent of the infection and how many root canals need treating, 2 or more visits may be required to the dentist. The procedure is as follows:
First appointment: Root Canal Treatment:
- Under a local anaesthetic a hole is drilled in the affected tooth to access the pulp chamber. During the whole procedure a rubber dam is placed over the tooth to keep it dry and stop any bacteria from your saliva infecting the root being treated.
- The pulp chamber and its associated canals are then cleaned and disinfected and removed of all debris (nerve tissue, bacteria, infection etc.) and a temporary filling is then placed over the tooth.
Second visit: Root Canal Treatment:
- The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber is once again accessed by drilling. A rubber dam and local anaesthetic are used as in the first visit.
- The dentist checks the root canal is dry and free from infection and if happy he/she fills the chamber with a material (alkaline paste) to prevent pain and infection reoccurring.
- The dentist then covers the tooth with a permanent filling or crown.
Factors affecting the price: Root canal treatment:
- Prices vary from dentist to dentist depending on the location and reputation of the clinic.
- The extent of treatment and if any additional procedures are required.
- The position of the tooth. Front teeth have fewer root canals than back teeth and are therefore a less complicated procedure.
- The number of root canals needing treatment.
- If a crown is needed and the type of crown.
‘This information is intended as a guide only and should not be used as a substitute for medical information from your own doctor’