Root Canal Treatment

What you need to know about Root Canal Treatment

Modern Root Canal Treatment put very simply has provided an effective and safe treatment process to allow dentists to save teeth from having to be removed. Sometimes the tooth’s soft core (down as dental pulp) inside your tooth becomes infected and possibly inflamed. This can be potentially be caused by a a few different things including decay deep within a tooth, repeated dental treatment on the same tooth, damage to the surface of a tooth (crack or chip), or a sharp impact to a tooth. In previous times, not so long ago, there were no treatment options for these issues and teeth with diseased or injured pulps were usually removed. Today, dentists use Root Canal Treatment to treat problems with dental pulp infection.

Signs you may need Root Canal Treatment

A number of signs are apparent when determining whether Root Canal Treatment is required, including prolonged sensitivity to heat / cold, general dental pain, discoloration of the tooth, tenderness and / or swelling in the nearby gums. It should also be noted that occasionally there are no symptoms.

What happens if dental pulp gets injured?

Dental pulp is soft tissue that is made up of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. It lies inside the tooth and runs from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root in the jaw bone. When the tooth pulp is injured or diseased it can’t repair itself and then dies. One of the most usual causes of pulp death is a deep tooth cavity or a cracked tooth. Both of these issues can allow bacteria enter and infect the pulp. This can cause an infection inside the tooth. Without appropriate treatment an infection then builds up at the tip or the root, forming what dentists call a “pus-pocket” this is more commonly called an abscess. Abscess infections can be very painful and can potentially create damage to the bone around the teeth.

Why does the pulp need to be removed?

When infected dental pulp is not removed through treatment, pain and swelling will likely result. Certain byproducts of the infection have the potential to injure your jawbone and cause a lot of problems. Therefore without Root Canal Treatment, your tooth may need to be removed.

What does a Root Canal Treatment involve?

Root Canal Treatment often involves from one to three visits to be fully complete. During the treatment process, diseased tooth pulp will be removed. The root canals and pulp chamber are first cleaned and then sealed. Following Root Canal Treatment it is normal for a Crown to then be needed to cosmetically restore the tooth.

How long will the restored tooth last?

A restored tooth following Root Canal Treatment could potentially last a lifetime, as long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums properly. Remember, regular checkups are necessary to your wider dental health and as long as the roots of a treated tooth remain clean and nourished by the tissues around it, then your tooth will remain healthy.

What is an Endodontist?

All dentists root canal treatment or  received basic training in Endodontics while they were in medical school. Endodontists are specialist dentists who perform only Root Canal Treatments, both routine and complex. Endodontists are experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that is difficult to diagnose. General dental practitioners often refer Root Canal patients to Endodontists.

Is after care needed following treatment?

Once the Root Canal treatment has been completed you must remember not to chew or bite with the tooth that has been treated until the tooth has also been restored (usually with a crown), this is because the  tooth could potentially fracture under pressure / compression. To resolve this problem it is normal for a crown to be fitted to a tooth that has been treated with a Root Canal procedure. The only requirements following treatment are that you maintain good dental / oral hygiene, flossing, normal brushing and regular dental / hygiene checkups.

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