Dentists at Maunu Dental are well equipped to perform root canal procedures on teeth. Richard Stallworthy has a special interest in performing more difficult root canals and often receives referrals from other dentists for complicated cases such as teeth that have canals that are difficult to access or have broken file tips. He is able to complete these complicated procedures with his state of the art microscope and special root canal treatment equipment. Dave Stallworthy is able to perform endodontic surgery, such as apicectomy treatment.

Inside a tooth is a fine space called the root canal. The root canal contains the dental pulp, which consists of nerves and blood vessels. If the dental pulp becomes diseased or dies a toothache or an abscess may occur. In the past these problem teeth were extracted but now your dentist can offer you root canal treatment to care for these teeth.

Why is a root canal treatment necessary?

Root canal treatment is most often needed for the relief of pain. A number of conditions can lead to irreversible damage of the dental pulp

  • Decay
  • Deep fillings
  • Trauma
  • Tooth fracture
  • Infection

Sometimes there is no apparent cause

What happens during root canal treatment?

An examination with x-rays and special tests to assess the health of the dental pulp and surrounding tissues. Sometimes it is quite difficult to identify which tooth is causing the pain.

Usually a latex sheet called a rubber dam is placed around the tooth top isolate is from the mouth

Access to the root canals is gained by drilling a hole through the top of the tooth.

The root canal is measured for length and then cleaned and shaped with fine dental files. The root canals are also washed with a sterile solution.

The root canals are then sealed near to their tip with a permanent rubber filling material

The tooth is then restores back into useful function.

Is a root canal treatment painful?

Local anaesthetic and modern painkillers are used to provide comfortable treatment. Usually painful symptoms improve once treatment is started. Sometimes after the permanent filling is placed in the canals it can feel a bit tender after the local anaesthetic has worn off.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure is usually started during the initial exam if the patient is experiencing pain. The pulp of the tooth is removed and a temporary dressing placed for temporary relief of pain. This usually takes approximately 30 minutes. A follow up appointment is needed 2 to 3 weeks later to complete the treatment, depending on the size of the tooth and how many canals it has this can take from 45minutes to two hours.

How is a tooth restored following root canal treatment?

It is very important that any restoration adequately seals the root filling from infection by bacteria from the mouth. Teeth requiring root canal treatment often have large fillings or extensive damage and will require a crown to restore them properly. These teeth are also weaker and the added protection of a crown is recommended.

How successful is a root canal treatment?

If the root canals can be fully cleaned and sealed and the tooth properly restored then treatment has a very high success rate. The treatment may take several visits to complete with temporary fillings and dressing placed in the tooth between visits. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed when an infection is present.

What complications can occur during root canal treatment?

Because the root canals are very fine and curved in some teeth it may be difficult to clean the canals completely. Occasionally a piece of a file may break off in the root canal due to strain placed on these fine instruments. Sometimes these are retrievable but they can also be sealed in the root canal as part of the filling. At Maunu Dental we have a microscope to assist in difficult cases.

Pain or discomfort may occur between appointments due to ongoing tenderness of the tissues around the tooth or a flare up in an abscess, or a hair-line crack in the root.

An abscess or ongoing pain will rarely persist following root canal treatment. If this occurs the tooth will require some further treatment.

Occasionally a surgical procedure may be required if discomfort persists. This surgical procedure is known as an apicectomy, and can be performed at Maunu Dental by Dave Stallworthy.

What is the cost?

The cost will depend on the difficulty and the time spent treating the tooth. An approximate cost for a root canal treatment on an incisor or premolar tooth is $563.00, a molar tooth is approximately $1125.00.