Root Canal Treatment is a procedure undertaken to save teeth affected by decay, disease or injury.
The pulp tissue (nerve) of a tooth can become damaged or diseased due to decay, failing fillings, trauma, cracks, or grinding. If the pulp becomes damaged it can become inflamed or infected and this is when root canal (endodontic) therapy can be beneficial.
Endodontic disease can cause swelling and pain, however in some instances there may be no symptoms at all. Sometimes an endodontic problem may be found by your dentist on a routine X-ray before symptoms have developed.
Access to the nerve canal is gained by drilling a hole through the tooth. This area is usually filled previously or affected by decay. The nerve canals are then located, cleaned and rinsed with special instruments.
A dressing is placed prior to filling the nerve canals with inactive materials. The procedure may take multiple visits and will require a few x-rays to be taken for diagnosis and treatment purposes.
Pain arises from the infection or inflammation of the nerve and surrounding tissues to the tooth. These symptoms can be brought under control with the appropriate use of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication and local anaesthetics. In fact, most of our patients tend to fall asleep during the procedure.
All general dentists are trained to carry out a Root Canal Treatment. Some cases may be referred to Root Canal Specialists called Endodontists
If the tooth cannot be saved with a Root Canal then it will have to be removed.
A Root Canal Treated tooth is not dead as it is nourished by the tissues (gums and bone) around it.
A natural tooth is stronger and more efficient in chewing than an artificial one. It is also easier to clean and maintain.
As with any dental or medical procedure there are risks and complications associated with Root Canal. Even though they are not common, some of these include instrument fracture, re-infection or non-healing, tooth fracture, discoloration.
The vast majority of Root Canal treated teeth that are restored appropriately will last many years.