Root Canal - Endodontics

Root Canal Therapy, otherwise known as endodontics, is the last effort to save a tooth with a problem inside the nerve, or under the tooth called an abscess.


What is a Root Canal?

The Root Canal is the  path in the root that the nerve travels.
At Colombo Street Dental we like to explain Root Canal Treatment like cleaning a pipe.

Sometimes a plumber has a blocked pipe, and it is causing flooding or drainage problems.
When our patients have abscesses, it is just like a flood!
Another problem called a pulpitis is a bit like a drainage problem, with too much pressure from the inflammation!

What we have to do, is the same as the plumber, only many many times smaller in size.
We need to put things down that pipe and clean all the gunk out and make it clean as a whistle. That will stop the abscess infection, and the pain. Sometimes we leave some medication in those pipes (root canals) for awhile.
Then the bone underneath can heal!
Once that pipe is clean we are going to fill it up completely; a bit like filling a pipe full of concrete.
Often this procedure is done in two stages over a period of 3 to 4 weeks.



Are Root Canal Treatments Always Successful?

Unfortunately no.

There is a huge variation in the quality of root canal therapy done by various dentists.
But if root canal therapy is done well, the success rates long term are well over 90 percent.
This compares favourably with many other medical procedures of such a technical nature.

The best way to improve chances of success are with either a qualified endodontic specialist, or a dentist with the best equipment, skill and training.
We use a microscope and all the newest technology and techniques at Colombo Street Dental, to maximise our vision and improve our outcomes for our patients.

Some of the things that can reduce chances of success are as follows;

Poor patient immunity and host response

(if you are run down or sick, our bodies do not heal as well).

Broken equipment inside the tooth.

(Some of our gear is not infallable, and it is entirely possibly but rare that equipment can break. Dentists should always tell you if that happens during surgery as it may influence outcome. It is a known complication of root canal therapy and can happen even with the best technique to specialist surgeons.)

No Crown on the tooth.

(All teeth that are heavily damaged from Root Canal Therapy will benefit from crowning after Root Canal Treatment.
Inadequate restoration of teeth after Root Canal is a common reason for failure of the tooth.) 


Difficult Tooth Anatomy.

(Some teeth are highly challenging anatomy wise and require either specialist intervention, or in some cases are not possible to be root canal treated due to the extremely complex shape of some teeth roots)


What kind of cost is a root canal?

This is a tricky question, and one our nurses are asked every day at Colombo Street Dental.

Each tooth has a different number of canals and complexity, so without seeing the tooth it is hard to know.

Cost charged for root canal treatment will sometimes reflect the quality of the job as well, as using throw away one use expensive files instead of reusing on other patients can become expensive.
Also, the best equipment and spending more time on teeth for better quality results, can increase cost.

The other question to ask, is whether you are being quoted for a root canal and a filling, or just the root canal.

You may find that as well as the root canal, there will be another charge on top of that to cap the tooth.

Always ask the full cost + the cost of a crown or filling afterwards.

At Colombo Street Dental we cut no corners and use the same equipment as the specialists.
Our costs for a premolar and filling on top is 900 dollars.
Our costs for a molar tooth and filling on top is 1300 dollars.
Discounts apply for certain card holders, and both premolars and molars often require a crown after, which would be 990 dollars.

Some front teeth are less expensive, and be more around the 700 dollar cost with a filling included.