Why You Should Never Put Off a Root Canal Blog

23 January 2017

When you first notice sensitivity in a tooth, you may dismiss it as nothing and move on with your day. However, that ache can become a full-blown infection in a matter of hours, and the pain caused by it can be debilitating. Therefore, do not fail to get a root canal after discovering a serious issue with one or more teeth. Once you know that you need one, you must have it performed as soon as possible, to reduce pain and increase your chances of a quick recovery. Waiting might cause even more problems, and your pain will only increase over time.

Stop the Infection

Pain in your tooth is a sign that there is an infection in your tooth that is killing it. A root canal stops the infection in its tracks and helps you to recover with fewer complications. While the outer layers of your tooth may be hard, the inner pulp is made of soft, living tissue. This tissue may become infected due to a number of reasons, such as deep decay, cracks in the tooth surface, and more. Once that happens, treatment is needed immediately to stop the infection from spreading and stop the problem before it gets out of hand.

Alleviate Pain

A root canal is something many fear because they believe it will cause them pain, but it is the treatment that alleviates pain, rather than bringing it. The procedure is relatively painless, despite the misconceptions of popular belief. In fact, it is similar to having a cavity treated, though it may take a little longer. If you are experiencing a severe toothache, remember that having treatment sooner-rather-than-later will help you get rid of the pain, and return to eating the foods you love.

It Does Not Go Away

An infection will not just go away on its own, unlike a cut or virus. Leaving it to its own devices will only cause the infection and pain to worsen. It may even spread to your bone and beyond. By having the treatment done as soon as you notice the first signs of trouble, you not only stop the infection and reduce pain, but you also protect your health. Infection is similar to a forest fire, and leaving it alone to grow will only put your entire body at risk. When you feel that you might be suffering from an infection, you should book an appointment with your dentist to be sure. They will be able to determine the cause of the trouble and find a suitable treatment.

Covid-19 and your care

We have now received clear guidance as to what dental procedures we can safely carry out and at what stages during the pandemic.

Below is a summary of the guidance as we understand it, although this may modify over the next few days as some small inconsistencies are clarified.

The government has set five different risk levels for the pandemic 1-5 (low to high), although this changes on a daily basis.

The treatments that we can carry out safely in dental practice will change with the risk level.

Treatments are significantly limited at level 4.

During the next few weeks, we will attempt to contact each patient that has contacted us with a significant dental problem during lockdown, and we hope to book an assessment appointment for those patients in the week commencing 8th June.

Practice doors will be locked at level 3, 4 and 5. Entry to the practice will be limited to pre-booked appointments.

There will be very clear criteria provided in due course as what is required before arriving at the practice, and what the procedure will be upon arrival. We will endeavour to ensure that each person knows exactly what to expect at their visit as this will be quite different to what you have been used to.

The appointment diary will be structured to take into consideration those patients who are shielding, may have underlying medical issues and so on.

The first week is expected to be a slow start as we ensure that the new protocols are working effectively for everyone’s safety. These protocols will be audited and modified until required.

At level 4 we should be able to carry out the following:

Dental assessment (initially restricted to patients who have current urgent need, or did and contacted us during lockdown).

X rays but only for patients who tolerate them well.

TEMPORARY re cementation of crowns. (We cannot dry the tooth effectively enough to cement a crown permanently with the restrictions we face).

Fabrication or repair of removable dentures.

Simple dental extractions. If a tooth breaks, it is probable we will have to leave the roots in place until we are at a lower level of risk. Naturally, we will assess the risk very carefully prior to treatment.

Tightening of loose dental implants if possible, without using a high-speed handpiece (drill).

Temporary fillings.

Draining of a swelling/abscess.

Provision of antibiotics.

Trimming of sharp orthodontic wires (not reliable re cementation of loose brackets, or replacement of missing brackets).

Treatment is only to be offered after careful assessment.

Cosmetic orthodontics

Cheshire Dental Centre provide many of these treatments. We may now be able to progress some of our Quick Straight Teeth cases. We will be in touch with each patient shortly, but please allow us to contact you; we hope that it is understandable that we will be prioritising patients with urgent dental need.

The PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements for the above are not too onerous, and we will not look too different to normal. As you are aware, the cross-infection control at Cheshire Dental Centre has always been exemplary and one of our top priorities.

Although we have been organised with the new PPE guidelines well in advance there may be the occasional time where we are awaiting stock. All practices are attempting to source the necessary PPE we need to keep you and us safe, but supplies are scarce and consequently very expensive.