This is the one thing in dentistry most people fear and has a very bad reputation. Fortunately, there have been a lot of changes and great improvements in the world of root canal therapy and at Hobart Family Dental we have certainly embraced these changes.
Root canal therapy plays a very important role in dentistry as it allows us to save the tooth when the tooth has been damaged so badly the nerve tissue inside the tooth has undergone irreversible changes and cannot repair itself anymore.
When the tooth reaches this stage there is normally pain associated and the patient is quite distressed. Our first priority at this stage is to get the patient out of pain. This can be done by a simple and relatively quick appointment where we remove the infected nerve tissue.
Following this procedure, multiple visits will be required to complete the root canal therapy. The first stage involves removing the remaining nerve tissue and shaping the canals inside the root of the tooth allowing us to get the necessary medicaments into the areas where the infection is. This reduces the bacteria load and so allows the body to heal.
To prevent further infection and contamination of the root canal system following the first visit we use a special material GP(Gutta Percha) to seal the prepared root canal system on the second visit.
If the symptoms have not settled between the 1st and 2nd visit we may need to do a further preparation visit where we use more medicaments and prepare the root canal system further to help the body overcome the infection.
Root canal therapy does have some risks and can be technically difficult. One of the major complications is the breaking of the files we use. This is mostly due to stress on the file from navigating around curves in the root canal system. Failure due to fracture in the root canal system which cannot be seen. Even though we use magnification sometimes you cannot see microfractures through which bacteria can enter the tooth and cause failure of the root canal therapy.
In some cases, we may need the support of an Endodontist, who is a dentist who has specialised in doing just root canal therapy.
The cost of root canal therapy can be a major concern for many patients but we like to stress that this procedure allows you to keep your own natural tooth and we will always discuss the pros and cons of this before making a final decision. The cost varies depending on the number of canals in the root canal system and the degree of difficulty but ranges from $800 to $1700. You will always be given a full itemised quote before starting treatment.