What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root Canal Treatment treats the infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal system).
The aim of the procedure is to remove all the infection from the root canal system. The infection can be caused by decay, leaking fillings, traumatised teeth or other injury to the root canal system. If root canal treatment is not carried out, an abscess can result and infection can spread, consequently the tooth may need to be extracted.
What is the procedure for Root Canal Treatment?
Prior to any root canal treatment, your dentist will take an x-ray of the affected tooth. This will allow them to build up a clear picture of the root canal and assess the extent of any damage.
Root canal treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. In some cases, where the tooth has died and is no longer sensitive, it may not be necessary to use a local anaesthetic.
✔ The centre of your tooth will be opened in order to remove the infected pulp (nerves at centre of tooth).
✔ Cleaning and shaping of the Root Canal System will be carried out with a series of files and the root canal will be filled.
✔ The remainder of the tooth will then be sealed using a filling.
✔ Root-filled teeth are more likely to break than healthy teeth, so your dentist in the majority of cases will advice a crown to protect the tooth from biting forces and improve aesthetics.
✔ You should also avoid biting on hard foods until all treatment is complete.
How many visits does Root Canal Treatment take?
Root Canal Treatment is a highly skilled and consuming procedure and may take two or more visits to the dentist. On occasion it may take several appointments depending on the extent of your symptoms and infection.
What Are the Advantages Of Root Canal Treatment?
✔ Root canal treatment saves teeth that would otherwise have been extracted.
✔ A root canal treated tooth is a normally functioning tooth, which is maintained with routine dental care and oral hygiene measures.
Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?
The tooth will be locally anesthetised prior to any root canal treatment to ensure it’s a comfortable procedure for you. After the root canal treatment is completed some patients may feel some sensitivity or tenderness for a few days due to inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This discomfort can be relieved by taking mild painkillers. However, if the pain persists or a swelling occurs, you should contact your dentist.
How do I look after my tooth after having Root Canal Treatment?
Most people can help prevent the need for further root canal treatment by maintaining good oral hygiene, being careful to avoid too much sugary food and quitting smoking.