Root Canal Treatment
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What Is A Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment (RCT) is a dental procedure used to treat infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal system) and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
What are the Common Causes That Can Lead to Root Canal Treatment?
The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth. This can happen after
- Tooth decay
- Leak fillings
- Damage to teeth as a result of trauma such as fall
When Root Canal Treatment Is Needed
Root canal treatment is only required when dental X-rays show that the pulp has been damaged by a bacterial infection. The pulp will begin to die if it’s infected by bacteria, allowing the bacteria to then multiply and spread.
The Symptoms Of A Pulp Infection Include:
- Pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drink
- Pain when biting or chewing
- A loose tooth
As the infection progresses, these symptoms often disappear as the pulp dies. Your tooth then appears to have healed, but the infection has in fact spread through the root canal system.
Further Symptoms Eventually Occur, Such As:
- Pain when biting or chewing returning
- Swelling of the gum near the affected tooth
- Pus oozing from the affected tooth
- Facial swelling
- The tooth becoming a darker colour
It’s important to see your dentist if you develop toothache. If your tooth is infected, the pulp can’t heal by itself.
What is the Procedure for Root Canal Treatment?
At Frederick Street Dental Care, root canal treatment is a virtually pain free way to eliminate the often-agonising pain an infected or highly inflamed tooth may have and helps to prevent worsening pain or infection. We use a state-of-the-art electronic cleaning and measuring devices. This high-tech device often helps your root canal treatment to be much more comfortable, predictable, safer and faster.
- We first take X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in a surrounding bone. We use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth so that the treatment is carried out comfortably and to make the patient more relaxed and at ease.
- The tooth is then isolated with a sheet of rubber dam to ensure that the area is kept as sterile as possible. This will also ensure new bacteria contamination of the tooth is avoided. Wearing a rubber dam will feel strange at first but most patients find wearing one for the duration of the root canal treatment easy and reassuring.
- The tooth is then drilled to access the infected root canals.
- The canals are then cleaned using modern flexible titanium rotary files. These are used due to their specialist rotary motors that ensure the tooth canals are shaped efficiently. Root canal files are only ever used once. This minimises the chance of fracture and reduces the risk of cross infection. Furthermore, we always use high tech apex locators to establish the length of canals accurately and to reduce the x-ray dose to patients. We thoroughly clean the canals with powerful disinfectants to destroy the bacteria colonies within the tooth.
- Finally the root canals are filled with a rubber root canal filling material to prevent re-infection of the tooth. The tooth is then filled with a white filling core material. Sometimes, patients will be advised to have a Filling or Crown soon after treatment to prevent tooth fracture or root canal leakage.
What Happens After Root Canal Treatment?
It’s important to look after your teeth when recovering from root canal treatment. You should avoid biting on hard foods until all of your treatment is complete.
After your final treatment, your restored tooth shouldn’t be painful, although it may feel sensitive for a few days.
Over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be used to relieve any discomfort. Return to your dentist if you continue to experience pain or swelling after using painkillers.
What are the Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment?
You may be able to delay treatment or have an extraction. Often it is better to save your natural tooth with root canal treatment particularly if you don’t want to have a gap that could lead to various problems.
The only alternative to a root canal treatment is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant or removable partial denture.
What are the Success rates of root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is usually successful. In about 9 out of 10 cases a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.
Root Canal Prevention
Since some of the reasons why the nerve of a tooth and its pulp become inflamed and infected are due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth and/or large fillings, you can reduce your risk of developing dental abscesses by keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
To do this, you should:
Use Floss: Use floss or an interdental brush at least once a day to clean between your teeth and under the gum line
Brush Twice a Day: Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day – spending at least two minutes each time
Cut Down on Sugary and Starchy Food and Drinks – particularly between meals or shortly before going to bed
Visit Your Dentist Regularly – particularly between meals or shortly before going to bed
Giving Up Smoking – if you smoke
Use of Mouth Guard – Trauma resulting from a sports-related injury can be reduced by wearing a mouth guard
At Frederick Street Dental Care, root canal treatment can solve your toothache, it is certainly not a frightening or painful procedure but rather the solution to getting a pain free tooth and a restful night’s sleep!
Take Care of Your Dental Emergency Now !
If you are suffering from a dental emergency, get in touch with us immediately so we can help to protect you from dental complications or risk of permanent damage and relieve you from dental pain. Book an Appointment Today–Because Pain Can’t Wait !
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