The root canal system is essentially the centre of one of your teeth. If you develop an infection here then you will need to have a procedure called root canal treatment in order to correct it. An infection in your teeth can be incredibly painful. It is normally caused by the bacteria that occur naturally in your mouth. Unfortunately this bacteria can find its way into the root canal system if you have a leaking filling, if there is tooth decay that allows it in or if your teeth are damaged because you have suffered some kind of a trauma, for example falling and hitting your mouth.
The simple explanation of a root canal treatment is that the dentist will remove the bacteria that is causing the problem in your teeth. There are two main ways that this can be done: either by taking out the tooth altogether (i.e. extraction) or by trying to save the tooth itself and instead extracting the bacteria from the inside of the tooth (i.e. a root canal treatment). If your dentist opts to do root canal treatment then usually once the infected part of the tooth has been removed the rest will be sealed with a crown or a filling. After that, the affected part of the tooth should heal naturally.
When you have a root canal treatment it should feel about as painful and unpleasant as going to the dentist for a filling. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area that the dentist is going to work on and most root canal procedures are successful – in 90% of cases, the tooth can survive for up to a decade after the treatment has been completed.
After your root canal treatment you must be sure to look after your teeth and your mouth properly, including avoiding biting on hard foods until the entire treatment is finished. Good oral hygiene is absolutely key to ensuring no further problems – or the need for any more root canal treatment in future – and you should also cut down on sugary food and drink as this will help the overall health of your teeth. If you smoke, this is a great time to stop – smoking can negatively affect the health of both your teeth and your gums.
If you’re looking for a consultation on whether you might need root canal treatment then feel free to contact Smile Pad for an appointment. We have locations in London, Bristol, Chertsey and Salisbury and we offer a range of treatments at affordable prices.