Rescue of a tooth by root canal treatment
Many AgbZ dentists offer a root canal treatment with microscope or even the use of laser and ozone therapy ( ozone is deadly for viruses and bacteria ).
Specialisation in endodontics is possible up to Master of Science level. Since many teeth can be saved for years with such a root canal treatment, it makes sense to consult a specialist who has a wealth of experience. If root inflammation is not treated in this way, toothache is not the only problem. The patient risks an infection of the jawbone and other teeth. In the worst case, even the heart or brain can be affected.
Root canal treatment is a difficult procedure, especially if the teeth have several roots or if the root canals are strongly curved or branched. Even if teeth die ( devitality ) or a drill accidentally reaches the dentin or pulp, there is a risk of inflammation. This is also possible due to the frictional heat generated when grinding the tooth.
Whether and how long a tooth will survive this root canal treatment, however, is never guaranteed. It is certainly due not only to the previous damage to the tooth, but also to the precision of the procedure, the cleaning and disinfection and the sealing after the root filling. If the tooth has survived for two years, there is a good chance that it will continue to serve for years to come.
The health insurance companies pay the basic treatment in a simple form, but no special treatments, such as the use of dental microscopes or OZON disinfection. The dentist can also increase the billing factor from 2.3 times the rate to 10 times the rate, which can result in a bill of EUR 1,000 for a tooth with three roots. Here it has to be decided whether the extraction of the tooth and an implant is not safer and cheaper in the long run.
Here are some conditions for co-payments from the statutory health insurance:
The tooth must be worth preserving.
The tooth is in a row of teeth without gaps.
The treatment ensures the preservation of an existing dental prosthesis.
The row of teeth would be shortened on one side by pulling the tooth.
However, if the ends of the roots are already affected, the dentist will offer a root tip resection. Here the jawbone is opened to cut the tip of the root. A last chance to save this tooth. Often several x-rays and or a 3D x-ray with the DVT, digital volume tomography are necessary.
A root tip resection also requires a lot of experience and skill. Not every dentist dares to do this and may refer the patient to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (MKG).
The procedure of a root canal treatment is always very similar. After examination and X-rays, a local anaesthetic is applied, the tooth is opened and the diseased tissue, nerves and veins are removed. Then antibiotics are applied and medicated and the hollow tooth is filled with special cements or plastics. This type of root canal treatment can take many sessions, especially if the teeth are multi-rooted and the root tips are often difficult to reach due to anatomical conditions. If sterility is not guaranteed, germs can enter the opening. Living tissue can often be saved if parts of the tooth are not affected. The tooth must be absolutely germ-free and dry before the filling material is inserted.
After the root canal treatment, the tooth is often first closed on the surface with a temporary material so that the dentist can get back to the root canal in case of pain or problems. Drying the canals before filling is also very important to ensure that the cement adheres perfectly to the walls.
Since now no nerves or veins supply the tooth any more, now one speaks of a devital or dead tooth. Dead teeth turn grey-brown or bluish-black. This optical flaw can be concealed by a crown.
Reasons for an infection of the tooth are very often caries bacteria, which have penetrated into the defective surface of a tooth and destroy the tooth substance from the inside. If this infection penetrates into the root, the familiar thick cheek and the typical knocking or pulling toothache develop.
If a tooth is broken ( fractured ) due to an accident, a root canal treatment can be the rescue.
The advantages of successful root canal treatment are the preservation of an important tooth in the remaining dentition.
The avoidance of dentures with or without implants.
The preservation of the tooth as a use for a bridge and thus as a bridge anchor.
A good prevention ( prophylaxis ), good dental hygiene and a regular examination with x-rays help to preserve your teeth.
Often the root canal treatment is the last chance to get a sick tooth.
Surely many patients are grey before a root treatment or even a root tip resection. Especially anxious patients want a general anesthesia or nitrous oxide treatment to avoid it.
As a general rule, the faster you go to the dentist, the greater the chance of preserving the diseased tooth.
A second dentist’s opinion is often recommended for root canal treatment. Not only to secure the chance of tooth preservation, but also to compare the price, because root canal treatment can be expensive.
Costs and cash registers
Always clarify in advance who has to bear the costs and in what amount. Here you can find information about your health insurance, whether legal or private. It is clearly defined what may be billed privately and what the insurance company bears. In the case of front teeth, only one root canal has to be treated, while in the posterior region three, four or more root tips can often be found. These are even often still branched or the canals bent over by displaced teeth very difficult to reach.
After a good and detailed consultation with the dentist, the patient has to decide which extra services he wants to pay for in order to save his tooth. Of course, such a treatment must also be paid for if the patient is unsuccessful and the tooth is pulled. The dentist had the work, personnel and materials. Unfortunately, there is never a guarantee for medical services.
In many cases, it should also be considered whether a private supplementary insurance will pay off over the years. Here independent insurance brokers offer case-related insurances, which often even subsidise tooth cleaning, additional costs or expensive dental prostheses or implants.
The best guarantee, however, is the good care of the existing teeth into old age.