Treatment of an inflamed root canal

Bacteria can get into the root canal because of tooth decay. This is not necessarily painful. The germs move along the nerve towards the jaw bone. The body defends itself against the invading bacteria with an immune system reaction around the tip of the root. This is generally accompanied by pain. In the past, the tooth had to be removed. Nowadays, the dentist or endontologist (specialist dentist) will try to save the tooth with root canal treatment. He removes the nerve, then cleans and disinfects the root canal. Finally, he seals the canal:

The success rate of root canal treatment is around 65%. The inflammation re-occurs in 35% of patients. In this case, the root is surgically removed (in a process known as root tip resection). If this does not bring the inflammation under control, the tooth must be extracted. But modern processes can increase the success rate of root canal treatment. This is because the chances of success are only high enough when the whole root canal is filled right to the tip. Health insurance companies will only reimburse the costs then for good reason. Using a special device, the “Apex Locator”, your Dentaprime endontologist can determine whether he has actually reached the root tip during the treatment. This device measure the electrical resistance, which reduces significantly at the root tip.

In a conventional root canal treatment, the root canals are, in fact, filled, but not all the many small branches where bacteria have also penetrated. These branches cannot be handled with the naked eye, so a dental microscope is used to identify and treat them.

Are things going too quickly for you with your dentist? Or too slowly?

A carefully performed root canal treatment can last a good three hours for one molar with four roots. So it may be more efficient for the dentist to save himself the trouble, extract the tooth and insert an implant. But then you have to pay a signficantly higher cost as the patient. So do get a second opinion, if you feel your dentist wants to give up on a tooth too quickly.

It may be completely sensible to take out a tooth which repeatedly causes problems. This may an alternative to repair or root tip resection. Many of our patients are “fed up with it” and just want the dentist to take out the tooth. We will not turn down your request. Our main concern is that you have all the information you need to make your decision. At Dentaprime F3T Clinic you make the decision about your treatment – and you make an informed decision after a careful explanation of the relevant advantages and disadvantages.