Root Canal Therapy
These days, endodontic treatment, also known as Root Canal Therapy can be performed virtually pain free. Root Canal Therapy is the process of removing inflamed pulp (tooth nerve) from inside the tooth and filling the canals with a special root filling so the tooth can be saved, rather than removed.
What does Root Canal Therapy actually mean?
Root Canal Therapy is the process of removing inflamed or dead pulp from inside the tooth and filling the canals with a special root filling so the tooth can be saved, rather than removed.
Once the pulp from the centre of the tooth has been removed the tooth can still function as a normal. Once the pulp is removed, each individual canal is cleaned, shaped and sterilised so a special canal filling can fill these canals to prevent infection re-occurring.
Why do I need Root Canal Therapy?
If you have a damaged tooth, root canal treatment may help to save it. Inside your tooth is soft tissue containing nerves, and blood and lymph vessels, known as the tooth pulp. When the pulp cannot repair itself from disease or injury, it dies. A fracture in a tooth or a deep cavity commonly cause pulp death, as the pulp is exposed to bacteria found in your saliva.
When the pulp becomes infected, it is best to remove it before it spreads to the tooth and surrounding tissues. The whole tooth may be lost if the infection is left untreated. Root canal treatment can save your tooth.
What does treatment involve?
Root canal treatment may involve one to three visits to the dentist. A general dentist or an Endodontist (a specialist in pulp problems) will remove the pulp of the tooth. They will then clean and seal the pulp chamber and root canal/s.
STEPS INVOLVED IN ROOT CANAL TREATMENT:
- An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the chamber where the pulp is found.
- The pulp is removed, and the root canal/s are cleaned and shaped into a form that can be filled easily.
- Medications to prevent infection may be placed in the pulp chamber.
- Your dentist may leave the tooth open in order for it to drain, however often a temporary filling is placed in the crown of the tooth to protect it until your next visit. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection.
- The temporary filling will be removed, and after cleaning, the pulp chamber and root canal/s will be filled.
- Finally, your dentist may place a crown (either porcelain or gold) over your tooth.
How long will the restored tooth last?
If you look after your teeth and gums, your root canal treated tooth may last a lifetime. However, you must have regular checkups to ensure that the tissues around it are nourishing the root of your treated tooth.