Howard Lloyd Endodontics, Maidenhead, Berkshire

Course of Treatment

As an endodontic patient, what should I expect?

A comprehensive examination to diagnose orthofacial pain and pulpal injury is necessary to determine whether the tooth is a good candidate for endodontic therapy.

Conventional, non-surgical treatment is the most common treatment, used to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly disinfected, cleaned and sealed.

Under certain circumstances, microsurgery may be indicated. We are experts in performing this procedure, and utilize sophisticated equipment to ensure the best result.

Non Surgical Root Canal

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure and many millions are performed worldwide every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges. Frequently the alternative to endodontic treatment is extraction of the tooth.

At the centre of your tooth is pulp. Dental pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature, or pain in the tooth and gums.

How is a root canal treatment performed?

If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will probably recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anaesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 85–90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavourable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident. We use local anaesthesia to eliminate discomfort. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine. Occasionally people feel tired after having a local anaesthetic. If you know that you are susceptible to this, please ask someone to attend with you for treatment so that they can drive you home.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are always available. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

How much will treatment cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth, and an estimate of costs will be provided before commencement of treatment. Please telephone the practice on 01628 633737 for further information.

Endodontic Retreatment

With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue to cause problems. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, endodontic retreatment may be required.

Delayed or failed healing may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals that were not treated during the initial treatment.
  • Complicated canals that went undetected during the initial treatment.
  • The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva or bacteria from contaminating the inside of the tooth.

In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:

  • New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.

If endodontic retreatment has been prescribed, your tooth will be reopened to gain access to the root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to access the root canal. The canals will then be cleaned and the inside of the problematic tooth will be carefully examined. Once cleaned, the canals will be filled and sealed and a temporary filling will be placed in the tooth.

At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible in order to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full function.

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