A root canal may be performed to save a tooth with an infected or dead pulp and prevent an infection from spreading. Pulp provides the tooth with nerves and nutrients, and exists inside every tooth. If the pulp is damaged or diseased, it can kill the pulp tissue. A root canal saves the tooth that is affected by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping the canal. After removing the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and closed for protection. A crown is then placed over the affected tooth to make it stronger.
Embedded in the core of every tooth root, there is a narrow space called the root canal that houses the blood vessels and nerve supply of that tooth.
One of the main reasons that warrants a root canal treatment is when there is an infection of the root canal. You may be experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Pain when biting and chewing
- Oversensitivity of teeth to hot and cold
- Facial swelling
It is important that treatment is commenced promptly as the infection could lead to an abscess forming at the root of the tooth, damaging the underlying bone tissue thus causing severe pain. It may also result in illness, blood poisoning, fevers, and swelling of the face and neck.
Contact us today for a consult so that we can assess your needs.
The tooth is firstly numbed with anaesthetics. The diseased and infected tissues in the root canal is cleaned out, and the root canal space is washed and disinfected. Finally, a medication paste is placed into the root canal to ensure all bacteria are killed and pain is settled.
At a later appointment, the root canal space is cleaned & shaped further in preparation for the final appointment, in which a root filling is placed into the root canal to prevent future infections.
These processes are usually broken into 3 appointments, but this can vary depending on the complexity of the case.
A root canal treated tooth is weaker than before treatment, and is prone to fractures in the future
Depending on the individual tooth, your dentist will advise on the strongest and most long-lasting option to rebuild and seal the tooth. A crown may be recommended.
Our view is always to retain natural teeth for as long as possible, delaying extractions for circumstances where there is no other choice.
Natural teeth usually function better than artificial teeth and are easier to maintain.
Moreover, losing a tooth without having it replaced will reduce chewing capacity, cause tilting of neighbouring teeth, and put extra strain on remaining teeth. This can lead to deterioration of the remaining teeth.