Root canal treatment or therapy can save teeth that are severely infected, and which would otherwise require extraction.
Healthy teeth are covered with dental enamel that protects the dentine, and the innermost part of the tooth called the dental pulp. The pulp is right in the center of the tooth and contains nerves and blood vessels. When dental enamel is damaged through trauma or decay, infection-causing bacteria can enter the tooth, eroding the dentin and eventually reaching the pulp.
Usually, an infected tooth is extremely painful, and it may ache continuously or when you bite or chew food. The gum around the tooth may look inflamed and swollen, and you might have bad breath or a persistently nasty taste. You must come and see us when you experience any dental pain because the sooner that we can treat the tooth, the greater the chance we can save it. Our dentist can gently examine the tooth and will almost certainly take a digital dental x-ray, to more clearly visualize the extent of the infection in the tooth.
If you need Root Canal treatment, we will numb the affected tooth to ensure you feel comfortable during treatment. Our dentist will drill into the tooth, exposing the central part of the tooth so the tissues in the dental pulp and the root canals extending into the tooth roots can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. It is an intricate process, and we use microscopes to visualize the area more clearly. When a tooth is severely infected, we may place topical antibiotics in the empty pulp chamber.
Once we are sure all the infection is eliminated, your tooth is ready to be restored. The root canals and pulp chamber are permanently sealed using a material called gutta-percha. Sometimes we may strengthen the tooth by adding a post before covering it entirely with a full dental crown. The dental crown protects the tooth against further infection while restoring its appearance, strength, and structure.
A root canal treatment shouldn’t feel any worse than a normal filling, although it might take a few days for your tooth to settle down afterward. After this therapy, your tooth will feel much more comfortable and will be pain-free. Once restored, it will hopefully last for many years to come.