New Hampshire, USA
A root canal treatment, commonly known as RCT, is one of the most dreaded procedures in dentistry.
It all starts with a mild sensitivity, which goes away on its own. It then progresses to a more noticeable pain, but it can still be managed by taking over-the-counter painkillers.
The problem increases when you wake up one night and have severe pain which isn’t letting you sleep. This is the time when most people go to a dental clinic to seek help.
Root canal treatment abroad is a low-cost alternative to having RCT in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. So, let’s first see why there is a need for an RCT.
The process of tooth decay starts when food particles remain stuck in between your teeth. Once this process begins, it progresses from the outer layer of your tooth (enamel) towards the inside.
The second layer is dentin. When the infection reaches this part, you start to feel mild pain and sensitivity. By taking a painkiller, the pain subsides for some time.
Further progression of the disease will make it reach the pulp tissue.
It contains nerve endings and blood vessels. Once the pulp gets infected, the pain will be very severe.
This might even lead to abscess formation at the tip of the roots of the infected tooth. An abscess is a cavity filled with pus.
Before the disease affects the pulp, fillings can be done to restore this tooth. But once it has crossed into live tissue (pulp), depending upon the damage to the external tooth structure, an extraction or RCT is prescribed.
In cases where the dentist thinks they can save the tooth, an RCT is done. It is an endodontic treatment.
Many patients are of the view that only an RCT specialist can perform a root canal. These specialists are called endodontists. And they are authorized to do a root canal therapy.
However, RCT is a routine dental procedure. Even general dentists perform RCTs without a problem. So, if you are doubtful about getting a root canal from an experienced general dentist, don’t be!
They are as equipped to deal with this problem as the endodontists.
1. Anesthesia: The first step is to administer anesthesia to numb the affected tooth.
This will make the patient comfortable, and they will not feel any pain or pressure during the whole procedure.
2. Access Opening: Next, using an appropriate dental drill, the dentist will make an opening in the tooth crown to reach the pulp and extract the infection.
After reaching the pulp, the dentist will use a unique sharp instrument called ‘file’ to remove the contents of the pulp.
This will remove all infectious substance and render the tooth free of disease.
3. Disinfection: After this, the pulp canals are cleaned and disinfected. The width of the canals is increased by trimming them a little. This is done to accommodate the material which is to be placed in the canal.
This is more accessible in the front teeth which have just one straight root. But in case of back teeth, there are multiple roots per tooth.
Multiple tooth roots make it all the more difficult to find, open, and disinfect each one of them. The dentist might take several x-rays to visualize all the roots at every step.
4. Sealer: A sealing material is applied to the walls of the root canal. This will keep the filling material in place.
5. Filling: Filling material is available in cone-shape. The shape makes them fit perfectly into the cone-shaped root canals.
After finding the appropriate size for that tooth, the material is sealed using a heated instrument, and a tooth-colored material is placed on top of it.
6. Crown Placement: The final step is to place a dental crown over a root canal treated tooth.
Since an RCT involves the removal of all live tissue, the tooth is rendered weak. To give it more strength, some sort of artificial support will be needed.
Root Canal Treatment is among some of the routine procedures practiced in dentistry. Even so, you can expect it to be quite heavy on the pocket in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
A good option for patients who want to go for an affordable treatment with the same quality of care is dental tourism abroad.
The table below highlights the RCT prices across various countries:
|Country||RCT Cost (US$)|
From the above comparison table, it is evident that the cost of root canal treatment varies around the world.
While a single tooth RCT in the USA costs $1,100, in Canada the price is $1,000. In Australia, one will have to shell out $2,000.
Root canal treatment cost with insurance in Mexico is $200. In Thailand, the treatment cost varies between $200 and $400.
In Mexico, Thailand, and Costa Rica, the root canal prices are 70-80% lower and are suitable for people with no insurance. Apart from the cost factor, these countries also happen to be the perfect destinations for a vacation!
What explains the lower prices in dental tourism destinations?
Reasons for lower front and molar root canal cost has been explained in this article published on Colgate.com.
According to the article, real estate, rent, and labor costs are lower in the dental tourism destinations.
Another factor contributing to the cost difference is that the dentists in these countries don’t have to spend on expensive malpractice insurance which is mandatory in the USA.
Moreover, the dentists studying in the US are under massive debt for the study loans they take for dental school.
While the prices in the top dental tourism destinations are pocket-friendly, the quality of work provided by them is on par with international standards.
Myth 1: Get an RCT only if you are in pain.
Pain is not the only indicator of an infected tooth. Sometimes, the tooth might show other signs, such as discoloration. An RCT may be required even when there is no pain.
The extent of infection will be evident once the dentist studies your X-rays properly. Sometimes, infection of the pulp occurs due to gum disease too.
Myth 2: RCT is a painful procedure.
In dentistry, pain management is no longer a significant problem. There are numerous methods available to make the patient comfortable and pain-free.
Anesthesia is the first step of the protocol. An RCT is usually done under local anesthesia. A tooth or a part of your mouth is numbed.
In extremely anxious patients, conscious sedation can be done. This is a state where the patient is not completely asleep, but the pain sensation is gone entirely.
The whole purpose of an RCT is to eliminate the pain from a particular tooth, instead of causing it.
Myth 3: Tooth removal is a better option than RCT.
In some cases, tooth extraction is the only way of restoring health. In such cases, the missing tooth is then replaced mostly with an implant.
However, it is the last resort. The dentist will try their best to save your tooth wherever possible.
This is because the amount of support, chewing efficiency and comfort you get with your natural teeth can’t be 100% replicated by any treatment option.
The following table shows root canal treatment vs. dental implants:
|Point of Comparison||Dental Implants||RCT|
|Indication||When a tooth can’t be saved and needs replacement after extraction.||When an infected tooth can be saved.|
|Cost||Expensive as compared to RCT.||Comparatively inexpensive.|
|Invasiveness||A surgical procedure; more invasive.||A routine dental treatment; minimally invasive.|
|Time taken||About 3-6 months.||Can be completed in 1-3 sittings over a period of a few days.|
|Bone requirement||A certain amount of bone is required to place an implant.||The bone is not involved in the treatment.|
|Long lasting||If proper oral hygiene is maintained, can last a lifetime.||At least a few decades to a lifetime, depending upon oral health status.|
Myth 4: RCT is a very long process.
Depending upon the severity of the infection, the time taken for RCT can vary. Sometimes root canals are done even in a single sitting, and in other cases, it may take 2-3 sessions to finish the process.
Myth 5: RCT decreases the lifespan of the tooth.
On the contrary, an RCT is done to increase the lifespan of the tooth. It is a very successful procedure, and with proper care can last long.
Contact us now for more information on quality and affordable Root Canal Treatment (RCT) abroad. We work with the top dental clinics and dentists in Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.