Also known as endodontics, a root canal treatment is performed to replace the infected or damaged nerve of a tooth which may have been caused by severe decay, tooth grinding or trauma.
Over several visits, the tooth’s nerve is removed, the root canal cleaned, shaped, sterilised and filled. It is usually advisable to have a crown placed over the top of the treated tooth although in some circumstances a filling may be used.
Is a root canal treatment painful?
It is a common belief that having a root canal treatment is a painful experience, but in reality it is done to relieve the pain caused by infection, inflammation or trauma to a tooth. Without a root canal, the only other option is to extract the tooth in question and replace it with a prosthesis if required.
Having a root canal treatment is just like any other dental treatment, though will require more time and visits than just a filling or extraction. Before we begin your procedure, we will ensure you have had the appropriate level local anaesthetic needed to completely numb your tooth and while there may be discomfort, it is not painful to have a root canal done.
What is a root canal treatment?
The overall aim of a root canal treatment is to save a badly damaged or infected tooth, preventing its extraction. Treatment involves the cleaning and disinfecting of the root canal of your tooth, necessary because the root has become inflamed or infection. Once this occurs, the nerve of the tooth becomes extremely irritated and incredibly painful, with a root canal or extraction the only viable options.
The first step we will do is to confirm that having root canal therapy is your best option or recommend an extraction and replacement if we feel that is more suitable and will last longer.
What is the process?
A root canal will require multiple visits to your dentist due to the complexity of the treatment. The first visit will include x-rays to access the suitability of the procedure and anaesthesia with a pulpectomy where an opening is made and the infected or diseased pulp is removed.
The root canal of your tooth will be cleaned and antibiotics may be recommended. After the first visit, the tooth is no longer living as the pulp and nerve has been removed, so the tooth will be free of any further pain.
The remaining visits will involve further cleaning of the root canal and filled with a sealant. A filling or crown is placed upon the top and it can now function just like any other tooth.
Are root canal treatments risky?
Having a root canal treatment is no riskier than any other dental treatment. During your appointment, we will explain the standard care risks with you, as well as the pros and cons of a root canal treatment compared with an extraction and implantation.
What happens after the treatment?
Once your root canal treatment is finished, your tooth will have the same function just like your other teeth. You may experience some sensitivity of the treated tooth, which can be relieved by using a sensitive teeth toothpaste. Avoiding hard foods such as ice or nuts is recommended to prevent any damage to your tooth which can harm your root canal.
Don’t hesitate to contact us
If you are in pain, please contact Herald Avenue Dental Centre immediately so that we determine what is wrong and help you.