Let's Get To The Guts Of It!
Root canal treatment is a serious dental solution. It is needed when the nerve of the tooth has been compromised. What happens commonly is a large area of deep tooth decay allows bacteria to infect the nerves of the tooth. Nerves can also die after direct trauma or accumulated trauma from repeated dental treatment. When this starts to happen you are going to know about it fairly quickly and all the time.
Your body will let you know things are wrong by giving you lingering pain especially when eating or drinking cold things. You may notice gum swelling next to the tooth which is an indication that infection has spread to surrounding bone and gum. In very extreme cases, you may notice swelling in the cheek or palate next to the tooth. This is a sign of major infection. If you notice pain when biting or touching the tooth, you likely have an abscess or sac of infection around the roots of the tooth.
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Getting to The Root of the Problem!
In the centre of a tooth is a root canal system that houses the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth. When a tooth’s root canal system becomes traumatised, it must be removed in order for the tooth to be saved. The root canal system is accessed through the chewing surface or the back of the tooth. The root canal system is cleaned out using special instruments, disinfectants and medications. The root canal system is then filled up to prevent further infection.
A tooth’s root canal system is very complex and may consist of several passageways which take time to negotiate so there is usually the need for 2 to 3 appointments. Time is also required for disinfectants and medications to have optimal effect. The root canal system cannot be seen with the naked eye so there is a need to take radiographs (x-rays). Several radiographs may be taken to ensure the progress of treatment. We take care to do everything we can to ensure your comfort during the process.
This Sounds Like It Will Hurt
When we perform root canal treatment we take every possible step to ensure your comfort. This is a serious procedure for serious dental issues. If left untreated, you will experience real long term pain and end up losing the tooth. Here are the benefits of root canal treatment:
- Relief of pain and other symptoms
- Removal of severe infection
- Removal of tooth decay and dead nerve tissue
- Saving your original tooth
- Avoiding tooth extraction
- Preventing further problems
Capping Off the Treatment!
After root canal treatment, the tooth usually requires a crown. A tooth that requires root canal treatment is usually badly broken down or has had a lot of dental work with little good tooth structure remaining. Although root canal treatment saves a tooth, removal of the root canal system leaves a tooth more brittle and prone to injury. A crown protects the remaining tooth structure and helps prevent reinfection of the root canal system.
A tooth in which the root canal system is not alive or no longer present may discolour and become darker over time. If a crown is required for the tooth, the crown will hide any discolouration. If the tooth does not require a crown, the discolouration may be reversed through tooth whitening. The alternative option to root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth. In most cases if tooth extraction is selected, replacement of the lost tooth with an implant, bridge or denture needs to be considered after extraction to prevent undesirable effects on the remaining healthy teeth.