If you are experiencing severe tooth pain when eating or putting pressure on the affected area, you may require immediate root canal treatment. It is a common procedure used by Dentists in Malta to save a decaying tooth from extraction. Also known as an endodontic procedure, a root canal treatment (RCT) is a medical procedure that repairs a damaged or an infected tooth.
An endodontic procedure is carried out to remove bacteria, dead or infected tissues from the inside of a tooth. Thanks to modern technology, an endodontic treatment is a relatively easy and painless procedure that eliminates the need to remove a damaged tooth to help maintain your natural smile.
According to a statistics, the success rate for root canal treatment is between 92% and 97% (tracked over the course of 4 to 8 years after treatment) and this success rate continues to rise due to the frequent advancements in dental procedures and technology.
Root canal treatment – what is it?
Every tooth contains a pulp, whose primary purpose is to provide it with nerves and nutrients. In case your pulp is damaged or infected, its tissues may die causing toothache. Root canal treatment saves your tooth by removing the infected nerves and pulp from inside the tooth. Your tooth is then cleaned and sealed.
Why would I need an endodontic procedure?
A root canal treatment is required when the pulp and tissues inside your tooth are inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection may be as a result of a crack or chip in the tooth, a deep decay, or repeated dental procedures on the tooth. If you leave your inflamed or infected pulp untreated, it may lead to a severe toothache, deterioration of the underlying bone tissue or an abscess.
An abscess is an infected area in the tooth where pus collects and may cause swelling of the tissues around the tooth. Occasionally, the infection can spread to neighbouring teeth or gum.
How does root canal treatment save the tooth?
The procedure helps to remove the inflamed or infected pulp from your root canal. After that, the root canal space is cleaned, filled and sealed. On your last visit, your dentist will place a crown on the tooth to protect and restore its full function.
What happens during root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment can be performed in two or three visits to the dentist (or endodontist) and consist of the following five stages:
The dentist will perform an X-ray on the affected tooth to examine where the decay is located. The x-ray will help portray a clear picture of the root canal treatment required and the extent of the damage.
The dentist will then administer a local anaesthesia on the affected tooth to make certain that you do not feel any discomfort during the procedure. After you’re the anaesthetic has been administered, a small protective rubber sheet called a “dam” is put over your tooth to bar it from saliva during the procedure. Also, the dental dam will help to prevent you from swallowing or inhaling any chemicals your dentist will use.
Pulpectomy (removing the pulp)
The dentist creates an opening in the specific tooth to facilitate the removal of the dead or infected pulp from the pulp chamber.
Cleaning and filling
Since root canals are usually small, narrow and difficult to fill, the dentist may use different small files to enlarge the canals and shape them into a regular form that can easily be filled. The void space created by removing the pulp to fill with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material and then sealed off with adhesive cement. In most cases, a temporary filling can be used to seal the opening. The temporary filling will be removed before the tooth is restored.
A treated tooth without a crown has a high chance of breaking. A crown is a protective cap that covers a tooth. After your last visit to the dentist, you will return to your dentist to have the crown or other necessary restorations placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to its full function.
Is the procedure painful?
No. Usually, before the procedure begins, your dentist (or endodontist) will administer a local anaesthesia to prevent you from experiencing any pain or discomfort. You may experience some tenderness or pain the first few days after the procedure, especially if it was inflamed. Still, you can relieve the pain with prescribed relievers, and the pain will lessen gradually over time.
How much will root canal treatment in Malta cost?
Just like any other dental procedure, the cost of root canal treatment depends on the complexity of the problem, and which tooth is infected. For instance, RCT becomes more complex where there are three or more canals per tooth.
At Savina Dental Clinics (Malta & Gozo), endodontic treatments are carried out under magnification. We also utilise Laser root canal treatment for cases where the chronic infection is established outside the tips of the root canals. Lasers can target infected material & bacteria with higher levels of accuracy, at times preserving more of the healthy tooth structure and also cause less discomfort compared to more traditional dental drill equipment.
Root canal treatment starts from €75 per visit. Three visit are required to fully complete root canal treatment.
You can see a full range of indicative prices on our pricing page or contact us now to book your root canal treatment consultation.
What may cause my endodontically treated tooth to need additional treatment?
Despite your dentists best effort to clean and seal your tooth, a new infection may arise, or the tooth may not heal as expected after a root canal. Hence you may require additional treatment. This may be due to;
- A breakdown of the inner sealing material
- An undetected crack or chip in the root of the tooth
- A tooth is having a complicated canal anatomy such as having more root canals than normal; leaving one of them undetected and untreated
- A defective or inadequate dental restoration that left the tooth vulnerable to contamination
- A delay in the placement of the crown or other necessary restoration after the root canal treatment
Can all teeth be treated endodontically?
Not all teeth can be treated endodontically. This is because a tooth’s root canal may not be accessible, it may not have adequate bone support, it may be severely fractured, or it cannot be restored.
Fortunately, the advancements in endodontic treatments are making it possible for teeth that could not be treated a few years ago to be treated. In case an endodontic procedure does not help address your problem, you may need to consider endodontic surgery to help preserve your tooth.
How to take care of my teeth after root canal treatment?
Make sure you take extra care of your teeth after a root canal treatment. Avoid biting on hard foods until your treatment is complete and the tooth’s permanent filling and crown are in place. A root treated tooth should be looked after just like any other teeth. Make sure to clean your teeth after your last meal at night, and one other time during the day. Avoid or cut down on sugary foods and drinks. And finally, get regular dental checkups to make sure everything is ok.
Book Your Root Canal Treatment Consultation Appointment Today
If you would like to book a root canal or endodontic procedure consultation at Savina Dental, please book your appointment using this form.
Dr Joseph Xuereb
Dental & Implant Surgeon. Principal
Savina Dental Clinics