Root Canal Treatment : The Pros and Cons
Your dentist may have recommended that you need root canal treatment in order to attempt to save your damaged or decayed tooth . Should your tooth or teeth require this treatment, it is not a guarantee that the outcome will always be successful and root canal treatment is also not completely risk free. However, without any intervention the tooth will not get better; Furthermore, if root canal treatment is not undertaken early on in diagnosis, the pulp of the tooth can become infected. There is a danger that the presence of infection will spread which in turn could lead to abscess formation and damage to the oral bone. At its worse, oral bone degeneration can lead to the affected tooth or teeth being lost or requiring extraction and posing a new set of functional, aesthetic and financial problems involving replacement options for missing teeth.
Below are the Benefits and Risks when undertaking Root Canal Treatment:
The Risks of Root Canal Treatment:
- Discolouration or darkening of the affected tooth can sometimes occur after it has been treated with root canal treatment; Should this happen, your dentist should be able to offer solutions such as teeth whitening treatment to address the problem
- A tooth which has undergone root canal treatment will not be as strong as it was when it was a healthy tooth; it will need to be protected with a crown following the root canal treatment
- The presence of discomfort and toothache are a possibility, even after root canal treatment has been carried out. If this is the case, your dentist may choose to prescribe you with antibiotics, painkillers or both and may well recommend further dental treatment
- Following root canal treatment, the chances of the treated tooth becoming re-infected are slim; However, this does not mean re-infection is not a possibility and in the unfortunate circumstance where this does happen, the affected tooth may require further root canal treatment or as a last resort, extraction
- It is impossible to predict the lifespan or guarantee longevity and long treatment prognosis of a tooth which has undergone root canal treatment
- An affected tooth which has undergone root canal treatment is not as resilient or healthy as it was before treatment; for this reason, it’s lifespan cannot be guaranteed and it can still be lost at some point in the future
- Root canal treatment can involve complicated dental surgery which may not be without some discomfort , risks and complications: During and after this treatment, it is possible you might experience altered feeling which usually disappear. If this is not the case, revisit your dentist who can make an assessment and decide whether additional treatment is necessary
The Benefits Of Root Canal Treatment
- Avoiding pain, spread of infection, abscess formation and damage to the oral bone
- Avoiding extraction of a damaged or decayed tooth and retaining your own teeth
- Avoiding problems with biting and chewing as adjacent teeth move into the gaps caused by missing teeth
- Avoiding problems with confidence and aesthetics due to gaps left by missing teeth or adjacent teeth moving out of alignment into the gaps left by missing teeth
- Dental treatment and costs involved with replacement of missing teeth
Routine root canal treatment can be carried out by most dentists but the more complicated cases may require the experitise of an endodontist who is a specialist in this field of dentistry.
If you are having your treatment carried out by a specialist in endontics, you can check the specialist register or specialist list to ensure he or she is suitably registered to carry out this type of treatment.
Your endodontist should also have undertaken further postgraduate training in this area of expertise