Root Canal Treatment
Every root canal treatment is unique from person to person and occasionally the treatment can be deemed quite complex due to the unique nature of the tooth’s anatomy. In situations such as this, the dentist will discuss the option of a referral to an Endodontic specialist to carry out the treatment to the highest standard to ensure the best possible outcome.
- Root canal treatment (endodontics) is a dental procedure used to treat infection at the centre of a tooth.
- The centre of the tooth (pulp) can become infected with bacteria because of an injury or because of a severe, untreated cavity. Without treatment, the infection can become severe enough that the tooth has to be removed.
- The pulp will begin to die if it’s infected by bacteria, allowing the bacteria to then multiply and spread.
The symptoms of a pulp infection include
- Pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drink
- Pain when biting or chewing
- A loose tooth
As the infection progresses, these symptoms often disappear as the pulp dies. Your tooth then appears to have healed, but the infection has in fact spread through the root canal system.
You eventually get further symptoms such as
- Pain when biting/chewing
- Swelling of the gum near the affected tooth (abscess)
- Pus oozing from the affected tooth
- Facial swelling
- The tooth becoming a darker colour
Treating the infection
The bacteria needs to be removed.
- This can be done by either removing the bacteria from the root canal system (root canal treatment) or removing the tooth (extraction)
- However removing the tooth is not usually recommended as it is better to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible.
- After the bacteria have been removed, the root canal is filled and the tooth sealed with a filling or crown.
- In most cases the inflamed tissue near the tooth will heal naturally.
Root Canal Treatment process
- Before having root canal treatment, you’ll usually be given local anaesthetic. This means the procedure should be painless and no more unpleasant than having a filling.
- Root canal treatment is usually successful. In about 9 out of 10 cases a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.
- Every root canal treatment is unique from person to person and occasionally the treatment can be deemed quite complex due to the unique nature of the tooth’s anatomy.
- In situations such as this, the dentist will discuss the option of a referral to an Endodontic specialist to carry out the treatment to the highest standard to ensure the best possible outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may have heard people say that root canal treatment is very painful, or you may have had such an experience yourself. The most common reason for painful root treatment is that the dentist finds it difficult to numb your tooth because of an acute abscess. In such cases special numbing techniques can be used to achieve anaesthesia and treatment staged over multiple appointments to achieve the necessary results.
There are pros and cons to both options and a number of factors have to be taken into consideration when making a decision. Your dentist will discuss with you the likelihood of a root canal working, the costs involved and the aftercare required. Preserving your tooth is normally always advised however we will work with you to come to a decision that suits.