Root Canal Therapy (Endodontics)
Inside every tooth lie’s a living nerve which is situated inside the root of each tooth. This nerve, along with the blood vessels are what keep’s the tooth/teeth alive.
When trauma or infection occurs in the tooth which cuts off the blood supply to the tooth this causes the nerve to begin to die, this process usually causes painful toothache and can lead to a dental abscess.
Most common causes of an infected root canal are;
- Caries (decay)
- Fractured or broken teeth
- Large fillings
- Extensive crown and bridgework.
How do you know you need a Root Canal?
Depending on the circumstances which has caused the tooth to begin to die off, most common reason is the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected which in turn may spread through to the root canal, this can potentially lead to a dental abscess if left untreated. Symptoms of an abscess can range from a dull ache in the jaw to severe pain and the tooth may be tender on clenching or biting.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
The treatment of an infected root canal is the removal of the infective tissue and nerve that is or has died off inside the tooth. This process is a thorough and very intense treatment to ensure that no infection/bacteria will be left behind that could potentially contaminate the canal further and cause more complications.
What does it involve?
Our aim with Root Canal therapy is to remove all infection from the Root Canal. We do this by fully anaesthetising the tooth, gently shaping the canal/canals and disinfecting. Once completed the canal is then sealed so as to prevent any further infections. Most Root Canal treatments can be completed in one visit but can require 2 appointments with a follow up review approximately 2 weeks later to ensure that the treatment was effective and successful.
Does it hurt?
The treatment itself is not painful. With the advances in modern dentistry, local anaesthetics are extremely effective in providing a complete block to the pain receptors in the tooth/teeth. However after the treatment is finished or going into second stage you may encounter some discomfort/dull ache which does wear off using pain relief such as Ibuprofen.
What if I don’t have the treatment?
Should you decide to opt out of having Root Canal the only option left available to you is to have the tooth extracted. Unlike the human liver, once the pulp is destroyed it cannot regenerate itself and heal. It is greatly advised that an infected tooth/abscess should never be left untreated. Many choose to have their teeth extracted but it is always best to try and maintain your own natural teeth were possible.