Now this sounds terrible doesn't it - but don't panic, here at Fellows Dental Practice it need not be. Root canal treatment (also called Endodontics) is needed when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected through tooth decay or damaged by an injury to your mouth. This infection may spread through the root canal system, which could eventually lead to an abscess, causing a great deal of discomfort. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the tooth may need to be taken out.
Teeth that need root canal treatment sometimes are very sensitive to hot and cold, can have tenderness around the overlying gum or there may be a swelling. However, it is also not unusual for teeth that require root canal treatment to present with no pain at all.
Our dentists can perform root canal treatment to stop the infection from spreading and will preserve as much of your tooth as possible, cleaning and disinfecting the tooth and aim to return your tooth to normal function.
Using specific techniques and advanced equipment, you will receive a local anaesthetic and the treatment overall should feel no different to having an ordinary filling placed.
The tooth is then isolated using rubber dam. This stops saliva entering into the tooth when we are working which would also then further contaminate the tooth and also improves patient comfort.
A small opening is made in the biting surface of the tooth allowing access inside the tooth to identify the nerve channels. The channels are very gently widened and cleaned out using special instruments.
It is important to allow plenty of time for the cleaning process and medications that we use to work. The tooth is then dried and a medicated dressing placed in the tooth. A temporary filling is placed and the tooth is left to settle.
The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled using a special rubber material inside the tooth roots which seals the root canal system and prevents reinfection. The access hole in the top of the tooth is then filled with a permanent filling material.
Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure and most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits. In some cases we can complete the entire process in one visit.
After your root canal treatment has been completed, we will advise you the best course of action to help protect the tooth for the long term and prevent cracking of the tooth. This usually involves placing a crown but each case needs to be assessed on its own merits.