You do not have to do anything specific to prepare yourself for the procedure. Make sure you have eaten something before you arrive to our office. You take medications, please DONOT stop them unless this has been discussed with your GP and the Endodontist. All other individual aspects will be discussed well during the consultation appointment. All you need to do is relax and we will do our best to make your experience a pleasant one.
Contrary to what many people think and have heard about Root canal treatment, it is a painless procedure and is always done under Local anesthesia just like most restoration on teeth. There is almost no pain or discomfort during the procedure that could take between 1 to 1.5 hours per appointment. There could be a gap of 2-4 weeks between appointments depending on the condition of the tooth.
There can be mild discomfort or a dull ache/tenderness in and around the tooth for a few days especially while biting on it. If you experience severe pain, abnormal swelling or fever, it is recommended that you contact our office. We may suggest medication or will make appropriate steps to make you feel comfortable.
If you were experience high sensitivity, severe pain or discomfort before the treatment, your symptoms will reduce considerably after the 1st appointment. It is not unusual for the tooth to be tender after a root canal as it needs to heal. It will certainly help if you avoid biting/chewing on that side for a few days to a week following treatment. If you ever feel your temporary filling/crown has become loose or fallen out between appointment, please call our office immediately as it we may need to replace/repair it.
Please be mindful about the numbness associated with your cheek, lips, tongue and avoid biting on them while anesthetized as this may cause damage to them that you may not feel at the time. The effect of local anaesthesia varies but usually lasts for 3-5 hours post-treatment.
Sometimes we will recommend you to take anti-inflammatory medication that is available over the counter which helps with post-treatment discomfort. The common medication is Paracetamol and Ibuprofen (400-600mg) and alternate them every 2 to 4 hours for 2 to 4 days. You can also get combinations of the two and discuss this with your pharmacist for precautions and overdosage.
We do not prescribe or recommend antibiotics for routine endodontic therapy. Very rarely and if the infection is of spreading nature and/or causing fever, we may prescribe them. This will also depend on your general health and if you have a medical condition that requires an antibiotic prophylaxis taken prior to the appointment.
Please be aware that all medications have other drug interactions and side effects. Please discuss this with your GP and/or pharmacist before you take them.
The root canal treatment tooth always requires a permanent filling/restoration that will require an additional appointment. The endodontist office will refer you back to the referring general dentist for this procedure. It is recommended that this is done within 1-2 weeks post Root canal treatment completion.
Your dentist will also discuss the placement of a crown on the tooth as the majority of root canal treated teeth require a crown is some anterior teeth being exceptions.
It is very important that this is undertaken in a timely manner. On some occasions, you could wait a few months before the crown though the risk of fracture and/or recontamination from leakage remains. This could lead to failure of the Root canal treatment and also loss of the tooth. We recommend a crown placement in 1-2 months following root canal treatment and post-restoration unless individually discussed for the case.
Root canal therapy has been reported to be up to 95% successful. The treatment is very safe and risks are minimal. Some of them although rare and out of operators control could be fracture /crack in the tooth during or after treatment, separation of the instrument used to clean the root canals, perforation of the tooth, or non-negotiable canals due to calcification. All these risks are assessed according to the complexity of the tooth morphology and will be discussed with you.
Although we cannot guarantee the successful outcome of root canal procedures, you can be assured that the most advanced techniques and treatment modalities are performed to ensure the best prognosis possible.
The success of a root canal treatment depends on multiple factors such as the complexity of the presenting tooth in question and extent of infection, whether it has been root canal treated before or associated with other complications such as perforations, calcific canals, and broken instruments within the canal. It also depends on maintenance during your regular check-ups and follow-ups.
We cannot stress enough the importance of a post root canal treatment permanent restoration and crown to seal off the root canals from one end. Evidence suggests, most root canals fail due to leakage of the post RCT restoration and crown or sometimes fractures.
It is very important to know that teeth treated with endodontic therapy can still decay hence the maintenance of good oral hygiene by proper brushing and flossing, balanced diet, general health, maintaining the strength of the tooth, regular check-ups and follow-ups appointments will minimise the risk of failure considerably.
Our office will schedule a post-treatment monitoring appointment usually 12 weeks to 6 months and 1-2 years after the Root canal treatment.