The recommendation is that one or more of your teeth is to receive endodontic treatment (Root Canal Treatment) this is based upon your symptoms, examination of your mouth, and xrays.
Endodontic therapy (meaning "within the tooth") is the treatment of the canal or pulp chamber that lies within the tooth and its root. When completed, root canalled teeth generally act and feel just like your other teeth and may have an excellent chance of remaining in your mouth for as long as your other teeth.
Endodontic therapy is accomplished by using a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth/area involved. Access to the pulp chamber is gained by using a drill to open a hole through the top of your tooth. Small hand-held and rotary instruments are used to remove the tissues inside the tooth and gain access to the canals in the roots. Delicate files are then used to smooth and shape the canals. The canals will be disinfected with medications and the canals completely filled with an inert material prior to placement of a final filling/crown.
This therapy is considered to be very safe and effective. Nevertheless, we want you to be aware of the risks and consequences of having endodontic treatment performed:
Your treatment may take several visits over a few weeks to complete. During that time you may experience some discomfort in and around the tooth being treated. Usually this discomfort resolves within several days. However, despite the high success rate of this procedure, there is a chance that the root canal treatment will not resolve your pain. In such cases additional treatment may be necessary. Examples of other treatment that may be necessary include re-treatment, root tip surgery, or even extraction.
Once a tooth has received root canal treatment, it tends to be more brittle and weak. For this reason, we recommend placing a crown on the tooth for its protection. Without this protection, there is a significant chance of the tooth fracturing which may require its extraction.
Occasionally, one of the delicate instruments used for this procedure may break off inside the tooth. If we are unable to remove the broken piece of instrument, it may be close enough to the end of the root that we may elect to leave it in place and fill the canal behind the obstruction. If, however, this is not an option or if it is attempted without success you may require other treatment.
There are certain potential risks in the procedure. These include:
Inability to completely fill the root canal because the canal is calcified or has a unique curvature. This may require endodontic surgery or extraction of the tooth.
Infection that may occur and may continue, requiring further endodontic surgery or extraction.
Fracture or breakage of the root or crown portion during or after treatment.
Inadvertent breakage of files or instruments within the root canal system that is unable to be retrieved.
Perforation of the tooth during treatment.
Damage to existing fillings, crown or porcelain veneers.
Paraesthesia (temporary or possibly permanent) resulting from Root Canal Surgery.
We invite your questions concerning this or related procedures and their risks. By signing below you acknowledge that you have read this document and understand the information presented.