Root Canal Treatment
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is also referred to as endodontic treatment and is performed to save a severely infected or damaged tooth that would otherwise have to be extracted or removed. Each tooth contains an inner area that houses the tooth’s pulp. This pulp is made up of nerves and blood vessels that help the tooth properly form and grow. A root canal procedure involves removing the damaged or infected area of the tooth, then cleaning the area thoroughly. Once the area has been cleaned and disinfected, it is filled with dental materials and sealed permanently to prevent reentry of bacteria.
Signs you may need a root canal treatment
Experiencing tooth pain that ranges from mild to severe is a common symptom that root canal treatment may be necessary. The intensity of the pain may reduce throughout the day or intensify when chewing, eating or biting on the affected tooth. Lingering sensitivity to hot liquids or foods and tenderness of the gums can also be a sign that root canal treatment is needed. It is important to let your dentist know of your symptoms and when they started.
Root canal treatment process
Many people associate having root canal treatment with a high level of discomfort, however, due to the local anaesthetic that is provided at the start of treatment, it is comparable to having a dental filling done.
X-ray taken – a dental x-ray is always taken if damage or infection of the tooth is suspected. The x-ray will help to determine the extent of the injury or infection to the tooth.
Local anaesthesia – a local anaesthetic is always administered to the affected area before treatment begins.
Pulpectomy – an opening will be made in the tooth to access the affected tooth pulp. The pulp is then removed, and the area cleaned and disinfected.
Dental filling – The root canals of the teeth that were opened and cleaned, will be filled with a dental material called gutta-percha and then permanently sealed. Teeth with severe damage will have a dental crown placed on them after root canal treatment.
In some cases, a dental post is placed in the tooth to provide additional structural support for the dental crown.
Contact us if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above or if you think you may need root canal treatment.