Root Canal Questions and Answers

 

 

Q: I came for a filling, don’t have any pain, and the doctor told me that I need root canal treatment, why?

A: When a deep cavity exists, it is impossible to tell for sure whether a simple filling can be placed to treat the tooth.  A filling can be placed only after all decay is removed and the pulp chamber is left intact.  If during the removal of decay, the pulp chamber is invaded, root canal treatment must be performed.

 

Q:  If root canal is performed, won't the tooth be dead?
A:
Yes, the tooth will be considered non-vital (dead), but if the endodonticly treated tooth is properly restored, it should last for many years to come comparable to a live tooth.

Q: Am I justified in spending money for root canal treatment?
A: The alternative is extraction and replacement of the tooth with a bridge or an implant.  Besides losing and important member of the dentition, the artificial substitutes usually cost more than root canal treatment and the permanent restoration of the tooth.

Q: Will the tooth darken after treatment?
A: Some of the times discoloration of the tooth may occur. There are special bleaching techniques available for endodonticly treated teeth to restore color.

Q: Will the tooth crack or fracture?
A: Measures will be taken while root canal treatment is in progress to prevent this from occurring.  It is strongly recommended to place crown on the endodonticly treated tooth to prevent fracture.

Q: Can a root canal treated tooth be used as an anchor for a bridge?
A: Yes.  With proper bone support, a nerveless tooth is an excellent bridge anchor.

Q: Is it normal for the tooth to hurt after Root Canal Treatment?
A: Sometimes after the RCT completed, patient may experience pain, especially biting on the tooth. Most pain and discomfort would happen on 2-4 day, and then pain gradually will come down. If it happens, Tylenol or Ibuprophen, along with salt-water rinses will ease the pain.

Q: Can root canal infection always be treated successfully?
A: Unfortunately not.  Sharp curves due to unusual root growth and extremely narrow canals occasionally make instrumentation and medication impossible; however, this does not mean the tooth necessarily must be lost, since other procedures can often save the tooth (e.g. Apicoectomy, etc.)

Q: Does the tooth ache always mean I need to have Root canal treatment ?

A: The symptoms for root canal treatment are sharp tooth ache, night tooth ache, severe tooth pain on cold and hot, if this pain lasts long after cold or hot was applied. With more advanced stages tooth ache while biting appears.
These symptoms could also be present with some gum conditions, so the final diagnosis could be done through the combination of your complaints and doctor's exam