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Ever wanted the lowdown on root canal procedure?

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Whatever you’ve heard on the street about root canals, most of it is probably wrong. And here’s why.

One of our favourite things to do when the kids have gone to bed and things have calmed down is to sit down in front of our favourite TV channel – which happens to be the History Channel. We’re particularly interested in the history of the Second World War, and would like to believe that history might go some way towards helping us avoid the same mistakes again in the future.

We recently watch an excellent documentary on the infamous Nazi propagandist, Paul Joseph Goebbels, who was one of Hitler’s most important aides, and even served as Chancellor for a single day following Hitler’s death.


The great lie about root canals

One of the most famous quotes attribute to Goebbels is that “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. When we heard this line during the documentary, our mind immediately jumped to one of the ‘great lies’ of our own time in the area of dental treatment, i.e. that a root canal is one of the most gruelling procedures you’ll ever undergo.

We don’t know where this myth or this propaganda originally came from, but it's been repeated so many times, that many people now regard it as the truth. Which is a terrible pity, as it masks the truth about what a wonderful service your dentist can provide through the medium of a root canal – and it also generates needless fear about what is a relatively hassle-free procedure.


The truth about root canals

It’s not that long ago since your humble author underwent this very procedure, so let us spell out in detail what’s involved – and why you should never fear it.

First of all, let us admit that it is definitely a longer procedure than some others that you might come across. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll have two visits to the surgery, with each taking about an hour or so. But remember that you’ll be fully anaesthetised during the process, so you’ll feel very little of what’s going on in your mouth.

As to why you might have ended up in surgery for the procedure, a root canal is usually recommended by your dentist to treat a tooth that’s badly inflamed or infected – or perhaps to treat a tooth that’s been badly cracked or damaged in an accident. It might also be called upon if there is excessive wear on the outer enamel covering of your tooth.

You’ll probably have been given a few warning signs of looming trouble – these can take the form of:

-       A sudden sharp pain

-       A new intolerance to either heat or cold

-       Swelling around the gum area

-       Tenderness around the gums

-       Unexplained discolouration of the tooth


What your dentist actually does

First up, your dentist will remove any inflamed or infected pulp – this is achieved by drilling an opening into the crown of the tooth. He then moulds the canals into shape, so that he can seal them more easily.

The sealing is done with a substance known as gutta percha, and after this is done, a filling or crown is used to restore the tooth to its original form.

So there you have it! No major drama. Nothing to fear. And that’s the absolute truth.


What’s the cost of a root canal procedure?

You might assume that you’d pay top dollar for such a treatment that takes up over two hours of your dentist’s time. The truth, however, is that root canal treatment in Dublin is very affordable – and particularly so here at MyDental, where our exceptionally keen prices are supported by a 0% Dental Finance Plan.


What about going abroad for treatment?

You’ve probably heard or seen those ads for so-called cheap dental treatment abroad. But take it from the experts – when it comes to root canal cost Ireland is very competitive, particularly when you factor in cost of flights, accommodation etc. if you go for the overseas option.

The good news for our patients is that root canal treatment cost is more affordable than ever, as the process is very streamlined here at MyDental. And don't forget that you can spread the cost over multiple months with our 0% Dental Finance Plan.

It’s also worth mentioning that when it comes to root canal cost Ireland is as cheap as anywhere in Europe when you do all the sums – including flights to an overseas venue, accommodation etc.


Here’s some more helpful info on root canals

If you want to bone up on this topic a little further, here’s a nice articles from the American Association of Endodontists - http://www.aae.org/patients/treatments-and-procedures/root-canals/root-canals.aspx