Root Canal Cairns
Root canal therapy is undertaken to save a tooth that has been damaged by disease, trauma or deep decay
If you have been diagnosed as having a tooth that has an infected, dead or dying pulp, there are some important factors which require your consideration. There are really only three options available to you:
- Root canal therapy for the tooth
- Removal of the tooth
- Surgical apicoectomy to remove the infected root tips and abscess tissue
Root canal therapy is the process where inflamed or dead pulp, which can cause extreme discomfort or pain, is removed and can consequently save the tooth from needing to be extracted. Even though the tooth is damaged and could be extracted, it is always best for your dental health to keep your own natural teeth. Our priority is to save and restore it.
Despite the very highest standard of work, not every root canal treatment succeeds; the procedure has a success rate of over 80%. Reasons for root canal failure include complex root canal morphology, instrument fracture as a consequence of the former, root fracture, and highly virulent infections.
The complex of fine irregular canals containing your nerve winds, twists, branches and re-joins and is physically impossible to completely prepare and sterilise and at times causes fine root canal instruments to bind and fracture despite every effort to avoid this happening. For these reasons, no dentist or endodontist can provide a 100% success rate with these procedures.
Should you choose not to have root canal therapy, the only other option may be to have the tooth extracted. In some circumstances, we may actually advise that you are better off having the tooth removed.
There are times when an old root canal therapy needs to be re-done due to recurrent infection. The prognosis for success is reduced in these cases and we will often recommend that it be re-done by a specialist endodontist to give the highest chances of success.
At times, surgical removal of the tips of the roots called an apicoectomy may be suggested and this procedure maybe done either with or without the need to re-do the old root canal treatment or even from the first root canal treatment.
These procedures are most frequently done by endodontists but can also be done at Future Dental at times, although we still consider the specialist provides the best prognosis.
The only other choice is extraction of the infected tooth, especially if a root is cracked, split or broken.
Removal of the tooth
If you decide to have your tooth removed, you will have some other factors to consider. Your choices after removal of the infected tooth are either to replace the missing tooth or to accept the new gap in your dentition.
In some cases, you will not notice the loss of the tooth very much, and a gap can be left. In most cases, however, you will be strongly advised to replace the missing tooth. This is to prevent the slow but inevitable drifting of the surrounding and opposing teeth. Tooth movement causes food packing and consequent decay and gum disease, and can change your bite leading to possible jaw joint problems. Should you be advised of the need to replace your missing tooth and choose not to do so, we may not provide any warranty on your remaining teeth on that side as tooth movement will effect potentially many teeth.
Usually there are several ways to replace the tooth that you have lost. These options include partial dentures, bridges and implants. We will discuss with you the best possible replacement options for your missing tooth.
We trust that after reading this information, you will be in a much better position to make a decision about how to best manage your dying or infected tooth.