- What is the root canal treatment?
- What does the root canal treatment involve?
- How long does the root canal treatment take?
- When is root canal treatment necessary?
- What does the microscopic root canal treatment involve?
- How much does root canal treatment cost?
Root canal treatment can save teeth damaged by caries. These days, thanks to endodontics, there is no need to extract affected teeth. We can extend the life of our natural teeth and enjoy normal bite function for many years.
Root canal treatment is one of the most common procedures performed as part of conservative dentistry. It is also referred to as endodontics or endodontic treatment.
The most common scenario is as follows: improper oral hygiene, fluoride deficiency, or eating too many sugary foods can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria destroy the deeper layers of the tooth, eventually reaching the pulp. The infected, blood and nerve-filled tissue causes intense pain. Treatment should be carried out without delay, not only due to the pain and aesthetic issues, but also because of serious health complications, e.g. infective endocarditis.
This is where conservative dentistry comes in with root canal treatment, which aims to treat the pulpitis, disinfect the pocket, and fill the empty, cleaned canals with special materials, usually gutta-percha.
Simply put, endodontics involves the following four consecutive stages:
- preparation of the tooth crown;
- removal of the pulp;
When preparing the crown, the doctor reaches deep into the tooth cavity. The hole must be large enough to avoid damaging the tools used in subsequent stages of the procedure. Next, the dentist removes the pulp and clean the canals with long, thin drills. He destroys and removes the infected, inflamed tissue. The whole procedure takes place under local anaesthesia, so there is no fear of pain. After disinfecting with agents, usually containing chlorine or calcium hydroxide, the pocket is dried. The filling can now be added. Most often the filling used is gutta-percha, which is a natural material similar to rubber. This is where the endodontist's work ends. The only thing left to do is book an appointment for a follow-up visit. If the tooth was badly damaged, you should consider prosthetic restorations.
Depending on the method used by the dentist, the entire procedure can be performed in one or two visits.
The main difference in the approaches is pulp viability. The procedure usually involves removing the viable tissue under local anaesthesia. This way, the doctor is able to complete the process in a single, albeit lengthy, visit (usually 1-3 hours).
If the above method is not possible (e.g. in patients with haemophilia), the pulp is destroyed before it is removed. At the first visit, the dentist prepares the crown and injects a substance that destroys internal tooth tissues ("tooth poisoning"). At the second, the dentist removes necrotic tissues and fills the canals. The time between the visits is usually one to two weeks.
Indications for root canal treatment include:
- pulpitis and other pathological conditions (abscess, gangrene, necrosis);
- advanced carious lesions;
- tooth treatment before prosthetic procedures;
- periapical lesions.
Interestingly, orthodontic braces are not a contraindication to root canal treatment. However, doctors advise patients to wait a few months after endodontic treatment before undergoing orthodontic procedures.
In recent years, endodontic techniques and procedures have undergone significant development. This progress is due to the widespread use of machines, such as microscopes or endometers.
Microscopic root canal treatment is a modern and safe method. The magnification ability gives the doctor better control over all activities within the oral cavity. The micro scale ensures more detailed revision and reduces the chances of errors or omitting an inflamed site. Even braces are no problem in this case!
The final price for endodontic treatment can vary greatly. It depends on the city and the office in which the procedure takes place, methods of filling, the number of roots to work on and the possible use of a microscope.
Doctors usually charge under PLN 100 for pulp removal. The total work on one root canal, including preparation and filling costs about PLN 200-250. If the dentist uses a microscope, the amount might be increased by another PLN 100. The total cost of root canal treatment (one root) is between PLN 400 and 500.
Root canal treatment, i.e. tooth pulp removal and replacement with special materials, is a modern and widely used method of saving teeth damaged by caries. The procedure itself is not complicated and has few contraindications. It is not the cheapest, but in one visit we can save our tooth and get rid of pain.
- Jańczuk Z., Kaczmarek U., Lipski M.: Stomatologia zachowawcza z endodoncją. Zarys kliniczny. Warszawa, 2014
- Leczenie kanałowe [online]. Medycyna praktyczna dla pacjentów, 2015 [Retrieved: 08-07-2019]. Available online at https://www.mp.pl/pacjent/stomatologia/choroby-i-leczenie-zebow/107911,leczenie-kanalowe