An Abu Dhabi dental practice is warning patients not to dive into the Root Canal option without investigating alternative less invasive treatments or seeking a second opinion. As Root Canal Awareness Week gets underway across the globe today, leading dentists from Snö Dental have warned against the over-use of the treatment in many countries and are urging patients to obtain all the facts before proceeding.

Dr Per Rehnberg, CEO of Snö Dental, believes that although Root Canal Treatment can be the correct treatment in many cases, it has become far too commonplace treatment in many countries and is unnecessary and even the wrong option in many cases. He and his team of specialists are urging people to seek second opinions and investigative less invasive alternative treatments. To help support patients with their decision, Snö Dental is offering free second opinions on root canal treatments for all residents of Abu Dhabi during Root Canal Awareness Week from May 6 – 12.

Dr Per holds more than three decades of experience and has led the largest clinics in his home country of Sweden as well as Denmark and Norway. He said: “We always evaluate the teeth and if we can avoid overtreatment by providing a less invasive option for the tooth to recover, we will do that. There is definitely a problem with overtreatment in many countries and Root Canal is one of the treatments that has become far too common as there are often many better and less severe options. Root Canal Treatment results in a loss of tooth substance, which means it is not as strong as a tooth that has not been treated. A root filled tooth is also more prone to fracture, which is why it normally needs a crown to protect it better.

“We believe that root canal is the absolute last thing you should consider for your teeth and that, where possible, everything should be done to ensure natural teeth are kept vital. Moreover, if it is needed, it should be done with disposable canal instruments and not reusable ones. The clinic should have a microscope and cone-beam 3D X-ray for difficult cases. The dentist should take appropriate time to do the treatment thoroughly and document it with intraoral photos of the treated area in order to be able to audit all treatment done.”

Snö Dental opened its four-storey, 1300sqm, modern flagship dental hub in Delma Street late last year, offering state-of-the-art technology such as full 3D scanning and printing, computerised anaesthetic and a fully digital lab. It boasts of 30 staff, including a senior team of vastly experienced specialists from around the world and has a smaller satellite practice at Yas Mall.

The Snö team wants to educate their patients on good oral hygiene practices that will lead to less treatment and a healthier future. Dr Gun Norell, who has worked in dentistry in various parts of the world for over 30 years, including Dubai, is also a great believer in preventative methods.

She said: “Patients are slowly starting to have an increased awareness about dental treatments and procedures and are becoming less afraid to question the treatment proposed by their dentist, which is fantastic, but we are keen to increase this trend further by educating our patients. We would urge people to seek a second opinion before having invasive treatments carried out and advise that they think about Root Canal as the last option rather than the first. We hope our free second opinion will help patients understand their oral health needs better, as well as provide confidence in the diagnosis and treatment options they choose.

Patients who provide Snö Dental with a written copy of the treatment plan recommended to them by another dentist will qualify for their free second opinion.

Top Nine Tips

Smart oral hygiene practices and sound preventative care can help to minimise the risk of root canal infections. Dr Per has nine top preventative tips: –

1. Maintain good oral hygiene

Brushing and flossing your teeth is always on top of the list of things to do to prevent any potential dental issue. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss the teeth once a day. This is the best way to keep your gums healthy, fight cavities and prevent tooth decay. It also helps to rinse your mouth with water after meals. Do not use any commercial products unless recommended by your dentist.

2. Avoid hard foods such as hard candies and lollipops

The oral bacteria that cause tooth decay has an affinity for sugary foods. That means that candies and lollipops can lead to cavities. It is common for someone to crack their teeth while eating hard foods. Better to eat all candy one day a week than a little every day. It is the frequency that destroys the teeth.

3. Wear a mouth guard at night

If you grind or clench your teeth due to stress, try and find a way to break the habit. If you grind your teeth subconsciously or in your sleep, make sure that you wear a night-guard to protect teeth from fractures, which eventually can expose the tooth’s roots.

4. Avoid acidic drinks and foods like soda and citrus juices

Many of these beverages contain a large amount of acid and contain a high amount of sugar which is harmful to the teeth. First, they break down enamel. Then, they saturate the tooth with sugar for bacteria to grow on. If you drink it never brush your teeth directly after, this will remove the softened enamel even more. Rinse with water.

5. Avoid using tobacco products

Tobacco products affects the health of your gums and leave your teeth more susceptible to damage. Smoking, shisha and using chewing tobacco can weaken your teeth, cause gum disease, and make tooth decay more likely.

6. Avoid chewing on inedible objects

Chewing on pen caps, fingernails, drinking straws and other inedible objects can lead to chips and cracks on the teeth. Avoid these bad habits to protect your teeth from harm and potential root canal infection.

7. Stay hydrated with water

If you suffer from frequent and chronic dry mouth, you might be at greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Drink water when thirsty at regular intervals to keep your mouth moist and healthy.

8. Get your tooth pain checked out immediately

Any pain is a sign that something is amiss in your mouth and ignoring it will only make treatments more serious down the road. If you feel a pain in your tooth, do not take an analgesic in order to subdue the pain. Seek a dentist.

9. Have regular dental checkups and cleanings

See your dentist regularly. Seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups will help keep your smile intact. Follow your dentist’s recommendations for cleanings and checkups. The dental team should inform you about the individual risk you might have and how to prevent them.