Root canal therapy is one of those complex dental treatments that people often associate with pain and concern.
Once upon a time, that perception may have been warranted.
But root canal therapy – and the associated materials and technologies – have advanced. And not just a little. Root canal treatment has advanced considerably.
In most cases today, root canal treatment can be delivered pain free and stress free.
Is this astonishing? I think so. Especially when I consider a recent conversation I shared with a patient.
Why you should never discount root canal therapy as a treatment option?
When I spoke to this woman, it was too late for root canal treatment.
She was so concerned about what the treatment would entail in terms of pain and cost that she didn’t give it a second thought. Without knowing better or investigating further, she took what she considered a safer option. She had the tooth extracted. From a dentist’s perspective, this is always the treatment of last resort.
Now, I know I never saw the tooth this woman had extracted, however, I feel with the right information and reassurance about the safety and effectiveness of root canal therapy, we would now be discussing something entirely different.
The truth is, with the right assessment and technology, delivered with appropriate care, root canal therapy is safe, effective, and long lasting. It can also be delivered pain free in the majority of cases.
Is it possible to have root canal treatment that is pain free?
My answer to this questions is a resounding “yes”.
Not only do modern anaesthetics and technology make it possible to experience treatment in a relaxed way, they also contribute to a pain free root canal experience.
The good news for anyone who requires root canal therapy is that it allows them to manage the actual procedure more easily. Am I saying it’s completely straightforward? No, however, I am saying a fear of the procedure arising from the pain and stress should never stop a person (like the woman I mentioned earlier) from considering root canal therapy as an option.
How expensive is root canal therapy?
Apart from resistance that comes from the fear of treatment, I also hear a lot of patients’ concern about the cost.
I totally understand. The cost of root canal therapy usually ranges between $700 and $2000, depending on many factors, including the number of root canals within the tooth, the complexity, and treatment required. A health insurance rebate will also bring down this cost, while the need for a restoration needs to be considered too. With all this in mind, here’s what I explain to people when presenting the options.
You can either have root canal treatment and save the tooth or you can replace the tooth. When you stack these two options over the long term, root canal treatment is cheaper nine times out of ten.
However, before we commence treatment, it is vital to assess the tooth can be restored over the long term. Your biological tooth is generally the best option if the tooth can be saved.
Like most dentists today, Define Dental offers flexible finance arrangements when it comes to payments for major treatments. For root canal therapy, treatment doesn’t have to be completed in a single visit. In many cases, it can be done over two or three visits, which could be weeks or months apart. This helps to spread the costs and make it easier to manage financially.
Is root canal therapy safe and effective?
This is a good question, and one that troubled the woman I mentioned earlier.
Most root canal treatments are successful the first time if they are done by an experienced clinician, with correct diagnosis, technology and treatment. This makes it a safe, effective, long lasting treatment.
Where root canal therapy hasn’t worked, it is because the tooth has become reinfected. There are many reasons this could have occurred.
To prevent this from occurring, the tooth must be protected and sealed with an appropriate restoration following root canal therapy. We do this to help avoid further breakage and from bacteria getting back into the tooth. When approached this way, it should last over the long term.
If root canal therapy looks like it’s on the cards for you, I encourage you to take the time to research your options. Work with your dentist to understand the process and build your confidence in the treatment.
It does work and can save teeth, for life!
Owned by Dr Les Jabbour, Define Dental is located in Benowa. As the Gold Coast’s premier dental practice providing quality dental care to local residents longer than any other, Define Dental has decades of experience of providing exceptional dental care for the local Gold Coast community. Define Dental has a number of highly experienced clinicians who are skilled in delivering root canal treatment, or even providing a second opinion. Why not book an appointment with one of our team to discuss your options for root canal therapy?