10 months ago
Root canal treatment, or endodontics, is a special dental procedure for the treatment of dental infection of the nerve of a tooth. It is a less radical alternative to having the offending tooth pulled out. Basically, it involves having the infected tissues of the tooth removed, sanitising the resulting cavity, then filling it up with a sealing material to safeguard it against future damage and infection. In certain cases, the tooth will also be fitted with an artificial crown to ensure better protection.
Bacteria can penetrate and breed inside the root canal of a tooth following physical damage to the tooth surface due to decay or trauma or as a result of gum disease. There the bacteria can infect the tooth’s soft pulp which is made up of nerves and tiny blood vessels. Eventually, the infection will be felt as pain and, as it spreads, can cause swelling as a result of the abscess that is building up inside the root canal. Unless the tooth is extracted or treated, the infection can spread even deeper and further through the jawbone and create greater damage to the body.
A root canal treatment can usually take at the least two dental appointments to complete. Teeth have varying numbers of root canals. Front incisor and canine teeth usually have one root containing one canal while premolars and back molar teeth have two or three roots with each root containing one or two canals. The more the number of root canals to be treated, the longer the treatment time.
A thorough check-up, including an x-ray, will normally precede treatment to assess the extent of the damage caused by the infection. Following this, a local anesthetic will be administered to the patient. A hole will be made on top of the tooth, after which the infected and dead tissues will be removed. The empty cavity will be cleaned using an antiseptic fluid that will also disinfect it free of any remaining bacteria. The cavity will usually be filed and shaped some more to make it wide enough for proper cleaning,filling and sealing. In cases where the infection has severely damaged the root canal, only a temporary filling will be used to seal the cavity and keep it clean until the next stage of the treatment. At this stage the tooth may be dressed with an antibiotic dressing. Otherwise, a permanent filling will be used in sealing the tooth. At Oatlands Dental Lounge, we have access to new technologies that allow us to clean out pulp infection in the most simple and pain-free way possible.
Following a root canal treatment session, you may need some pain relief medication to help you recover from the discomfort once the local anesthesia wears off. You may also need to take extra precaution in the day-to-day care of the repaired tooth. There are usually no complications following a root canal treatment. Maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding sugary foods, and undergoing regular dental checkups will of course also help you keep your teeth disease-free. In any event, at Oatlands Dental Lounge, your dentist will fully explain your root canal treatment procedure to guide you afterwards.
BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)
BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)