When is a root canal treatment necessary?
In most cases, tooth decay is the cause of root canal inflammation. The bacteria have already penetrated the inside of the tooth to the root canals. Even accidents in which part of the tooth has broken off can make root canal treatment necessary. If the root canal treatment is not desired by the patient or if the treatment was not successful, all that remains is to remove the corresponding tooth. In order to fill the gap, implants or a dental bridge can be used to maintain the function of the periodontium and help you to have a beautiful smile again.
What is the procedure for a root canal treatment at the Seehofer practice?
After a thorough examination and an X-ray to determine the exact nature of the root canal inflammation, we will go through the individual steps of the treatment in consultation with you. After the local anesthesia has been administered, the tooth in question is isolated using a so-called rubber dam (dental rubber blanket for the mouth) so that no bacteria, saliva or blood can enter the tooth.
The dentist then proceeds to the root canal. In preparation for the subsequent filling, the corresponding root canal is precisely measured with special instruments and the available x-rays. The dead and inflamed tissue is now carefully removed and the inside of the tooth disinfected to kill almost all bacteria and germs. Now follows the filling of the root canal. If a lot of tooth substance had to be removed due to the inflammation, a special root post stabilizes the filling.
In most cases, a crown is then placed on the tooth to provide additional stability and ensure that the tooth remains sealed for the long term.
Root canal treatment - costs and health insurance
"In the case of a root canal treatment, the health insurance company will pay for the treatment if the tooth has been classified as worthy of preservation and the probability that the tooth can be preserved is high. This is the case if the root canals can be cleaned and filled up to or almost to the tip of the root.
For molars, there are additional requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for reimbursement:
- The treatment results in a closed row of teeth
- a one-sided shortening of the row of teeth to the back is avoided
- the tooth to be treated has a functional denture
- If none of these conditions apply and the treatment is considered to be prognostically difficult, the health insurance only pays for the extraction (removal) of the tooth.
In addition to the basic services that are reimbursed by the health insurance companies, there are additional private services that can be used in contemporary root canal treatments to increase the chances of recovery. These include, for example, electrophysical-chemical methods for cleaning and disinfecting the root canals and determining their electrometric length. Patients must also pay privately for the use of an operating microscope during treatment.
With a private supplementary dental insurance, patients with statutory health insurance can have the treatment of a "tooth that is not worth preserving" or the use of the above-mentioned special services partially covered by full or supplementary health insurance. How much is covered by the health insurance company depends on the respective policy and can be between 40-90 percent.
In the case of private comprehensive health insurance, 80 to 100 percent of the treatment measures are usually reimbursed, depending on the policy.
Root canal treatment with laser
In case of a bacterial inflammation inside the tooth, a root canal treatment can often preserve the tooth. Treatment with a special laser is particularly innovative in endodontics and has the advantage for the patient that it is usually faster and more comfortable.
Tooth root inflammation (pulpitis) - causes and symptoms
A tooth root consists of one or more root canals, which are filled with so-called tooth pulp. Underneath it is the dental nerve and fine blood vessels that are open at the bottom. This allows the pulp to connect with the body. If bacteria now penetrate this channel, an inflammation develops. The blood vessels enlarge and press on the dental nerve, which can cause severe pain.
You should now act quickly, because the inflammation is making its way - abscesses can develop in the jawbone and in the worst case the bacteria can migrate deeper into the body, where they can cause serious illness. Symptoms of pulpitis are severe toothache, sensitivity to pressure when chewing,sensitive reactions to hot and cold drinks and food. An unpleasant throbbing in the tooth or a thickening of the gum/jaw bone can also indicate an inflammation of the tooth root.
Root canal treatment - pain and short-term anaesthesia (twilight sleep)
In our dental practice Seehofer in the centre of Munich a root canal treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthesia. On special request, e.g. for anxious patients, a general anaesthetic can also be considered. With local anaesthesia the tissue around the corresponding tooth is made insensitive to pain, so that the treatment itself does not cause any pain.
After the root canal treatment - pain and care
In general, patients feel no pain after root canal treatment. However, such pain may occur in the days following the treatment, as the dental surgery procedure removes sensitive tooth tissue, which irritates the tooth and takes a while to recover, allowing the tissue/bone to regenerate. If you also feel pain in your tooth a few days after the treatment, for example when chewing, please contact our Seehofer Dental Practice for further examination and control of the treated tooth. The reason for the toothache can be a renewed inflammation.
After the treatment itself, there are no special procedures to follow. Cooling the affected tooth may help to reduce possible swelling, and ibuprofen may help against pain after the treatment. However, do not take aspirin or other blood-thinning medication and always discuss the use of medication with our dentist in advance.