Dental pain can take many forms, and can seriously impact upon your quality of life. Symptoms can include sensitivity to hot or cold foods, sharp pain when biting down on food or even a dull aching pressure in the jaw. If you are feeling discomfort or pain, this may be a sign that you require Endodontic treatment.
Endodontic treatment (also known as root canal treatment) is a means of saving a tooth that may be damaged by fracture, infection or decay. The purpose is to restore the tooth and surrounding tissues to health, relieving both pain and infection. Without Endodontic treatment the only other alternative is to have the infected tooth removed, and so replace it with either an implant, a fixed bridge or a removable denture. None of these alternatives is anywhere near as effective as being able to actually keep the original tooth.
Not only is Endodontic treatment often the best option for you the patient, it is also an extremely cost-effective way to treat teeth with damaged pulp. Indeed it is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of a bridge or an implant. Endodontic treatment also has a very high success rate, with many root canal treated teeth lasting a full lifetime after the procedure.
Many patients shudder when they hear the words ‘root canal’, though myths surrounding root canal, or Endodontic surgery are completely unfounded. One of the biggest myths is that root canal treatment is painful.
Understandably, pain is a major concern for many patients, and many are pleasantly surprised to find that root canal surgery is a virtually pain-free procedure. Today, using the latest technologies and anaesthetics, root canal treatment is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. Particularly nervous or anxious patients can also benefit from additional forms of sedation should they so require, making the whole procedure as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
Another popular myth surrounding root canal surgery is that it is better to have an infected tooth extracted than have it treated and properly restored. This couldn’t be anywhere further from the truth, as nothing can completely replace the strength and longevity of your own natural tooth. Indeed, we are often guilty of taking our teeth for granted, and never fully realise their importance until they are gone. Ask any denture wearer if they prefer their prosthetic teeth to the teeth they used to have and you will hear time and time again that even the most advanced teeth replacements aren’t anywhere near as good as the real thing.
Root canal treatments are normally carried out over two or more appointments depending on the depth and complexity of the case. Before your treatment commences the dentist (or Endodontist) will often take a series of X-rays of the affected tooth in order to build up a clear picture of the root canal and assess the extent of any damage and/or infection.
If you are feeling particularly anxious about your treatment, it may be helpful to have an additional consultation prior to treatment in order to assess your needs. You may for example be able to arrange extra sedation, and many practices will also be able to offer you medication for anxiety so that you might become more comfortable.
Once the treatment is agreed the dentist will administer local anaesthetic to numb the affected area, and will then generally open up the tooth through the crown (the flat part at the top of the tooth) in order to access the damaged material at the centre of the tooth. The tooth will then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the dentist enlarges the canals in order to prepare the tooth for filling.
If the procedure needs to be carried out over several visits the dentist may put a small amount of medication in the cleaned canal while placing a temporary filled between visits. At your next visit, the temporary filling and medication within the tooth will be removed and the root canal filling will be inserted. This, along with a well-fitting filling, will seal the tooth and prevent re-infection.
In order to receive the best treatment possible, patients are best advised to consult with an Endodontist registered on the General Dental Council’s Specialist list. A Specialist Endodontist is an expert is root canal treatment and surgery who has taken two years of higher training in addition to their five-year dental surgery degree. Because of this extra level of training, a Specialist will be able to thoroughly assess your situation and provide you with the best level of care possible. A Specialist will also be particularly suited to dealing with difficult cases, or situations where complications may be present.
If you are in pain and need urgent root canal treatment or attention, it is essential you can call upon a team of clinicians dedicated to your wellbeing and providing you with the very highest standards of care and support available.
That’s why we created EndoCare – to offer our patients the very best Endodontic treatments and exceptional standards of care. At the heart of our philosophy we believe it is everyone’s fundamental right to lead happy, pain-free lives, and as such we are wholly dedicated to relieving oral pain in all its forms. Our team of highly skilled Specialist Endodontists are among the leading names in their field and are solely committed to the field of root canal treatment and the diagnosis and treatment of dental pain and infection.
Our light, airy, state-of-the-art practices are located throughout London, and are designed to put you at ease and provide the best and most comfortable experience possible. This is because at EndoCare you can be sure we will always put you, our patients, above all else. Whether you come to us directly, or your regular dentist refers you, any Endodontic procedure will be handled with the greatest care, using the latest techniques and equipment to guarantee complete treatment success.
If you, or someone you know is suffering from dental pain, give EndoCare a call today and speak to one of our warm and friendly reception staff. We aim to treat every patient in the manner that we would like to be treated ourselves, with warmth, courtesy and honest empathy, and welcome calls from anyone suffering with dental pain.