Everything You Need to Know About Root Canal Treatment

Ever wanted to know what is involved in a root canal treatment? Or wondered what symptoms to look out for that might indicate a problem? In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about root canal treatment and guide you through the process.

What is root canal treatment?

When the soft tissue inside the root canal, known as the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected then root canal treatment needs to be carried out to remove the inflamed or infected tissue from the tooth. If untreated the inflamed or infected pulp can lead to pain, swelling or an abscess to form.

There are many causes of infection including deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in tooth. Pulp can also be damage when there are no visible chips or cracks in the tooth as the decay can be below the gum line and affecting the root canal directly.

Are there any symptoms to look out for?

There are a few symptoms that can indicate that you may need root canal treatment:

  • Severe pain while chewing or biting
  • Pimples on the gums
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the sensation has been removed
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Deep decay or darkening of the gums

What happens during a root canal treatment?

Your endodontist will take an x-ray of your tooth to identify the infection or inflammation. They will then administer a local anaesthetic in much the same way as if you were having a filling. Once the tooth is numb your endodontist will make a small opening in the crown of your tooth to gain access to the pulp chamber and root canal.

Using small instruments your endodontist will clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and shape the space ready for filling. Once the space has been thoroughly cleaned your endodontist will fill the root canals with a biocompatible material with an adhesive to completely seal the root canals. Finally, a temporary filling will be used to close the opening in the crown that was created at the start of the procedure.

Your dentist will then schedule an appointment to remove the temporary filling and replace this with a crown or other permanent filling to complete the restoration of your tooth and keep it protected.

Saving your natural teeth, if possible, is always the best option. Nothing artificial can replace the look or function of a natural tooth so it’s important to always consider root canal treatment as an option. Endodontic treatment has a high success rate and many root canal-treated teeth can potentially last a lifetime. Replacing an extracted tooth with a bridge or implant requires more time in treatment and may result in further complications and procedures to neighbouring teeth and supporting tissue.

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