If you have been told you need Root Canal Treatment to save your tooth, it is important that you understand why this procedure is necessary and what happens during root canal therapy.
Root Canal Treatment (Endodontics) treats disorders of the nerve of the tooth. Inflammation or infection of the tooth can be caused by:
- Deep decay in the tooth
- Fractured or chipped teeth
- Breakdown of a filling or crown
- Repeated dental work on a tooth
- Extreme wear
Symptoms may include severe pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, tooth discolouration, swelling or soreness of the gums and abscess formation.
To improve chances of success, Root Canal Treatment should be started as soon as possible. All canals within the teeth should be treated. Front teeth generally have 1-2 canals and back teeth have 2-4 canals.
Modern treatment usually involves 1-2 visits. First we want to relieve any discomfort and reduce any swelling and inflammation that has occurred to the tooth or the surrounding tissues. Strong anaesthesia will be used to deaden the teeth, the tooth will be isolated, an opening will be made into the crown (top side) of the tooth and the remnants of the inflamed pulp removed. A dressing will be placed to help disinfect and cleanse the root canal space. A temporary filling is placed.
At the next appointment we thoroughly clean, cleanse and shape the root canal system. We will take x-rays to ensure we have cleaned to the correct level and all this will be undertaken under isolation. Once we are satisfied and have cleansed the root canal, we will fill the root canal system with Gutta Percha and seal the pulp chamber. The tooth is then restored using an adhesive filling. The majority of cases would be restored with a crown for long term strength and stability.
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