ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
WHAT IS ROOT CANAL TREATMENT?
Root Canal Treatment is a procedure used to save infected or damaged teeth.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED A ROOT CANAL TREATMENT?
Root canal treatment is performed on a patient to save a tooth that has been badly damaged due to decay, disease or injury. The patient may feel pain or discomfort and show signs of infection.
WHAT CAUSES INFECTION IN A TOOTH?
Infection in a tooth can be caused by a number of the following:
- Gum disease
- Crack or chip in a tooth
- Extreme wear
- A deep cavity
- A broken filling or crown
- Repeated dental work on a tooth
If a tooth is infected a patient may experience following symptoms:
- Tooth discolouration
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Swelling or soreness in the gums surrounding the tooth
BENEFITS OF ROOT CANAL TREATMENT OVER AN EXTRACTION
Most people will prefer to save a tooth through root canal treatment than to have a tooth removed. Your natural teeth are usually stronger and more efficient for biting and chewing. The maintenance and cleaning of your natural teeth is much easier. An artificial tooth will never be as good as a real tooth.
There are often problem with biting and chewing when a tooth is lost. If a tooth is removed, nearby teeth can move out of their normal position and tilt into the space left by a missing tooth. This can make chewing and biting difficult for a person; this could lead to gum disease around the tilted teeth and increase the chance of decay as the tilted teeth are often hard to clean.
CAN A GENERAL DENTIST PERFORM ROOT CANAL TREATMENT?
All general dentists are trained to perform root canal treatment. Some patients may be referred to an endodontist who has undertaken specialist training in root canal treatment.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A ROOT CANAL TREATMENT?
Firstly the dentist would take an x-ray to examine the tooth. An anaesthetic would then be given and a thin sheet of rubber may then be placed over the tooth to isolate the tooth, and keep it clean and dry during treatment.
An opening is then made with a dental drill to access the nerve of the tooth. Using tiny instruments called files, the practitioner will remove the inflamed or infected nerve. Each root canal is cleaned, enlarged and shaped. Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial medicines may be put inside the root canal to help stop the inflammation and infection. It may take several visits to complete the root canal treatment. A restoration or crown will be placed on the tooth at end of treatment.