Root canal treatment is a great treatment for saving a tooth
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is required when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth becomes infected. You may not feel any pain in the early stages, but the dentist will be able to see the infection when they take x-rays. If the pulp becomes infected the infection may spread through the root system and may eventually lead to an abscess. If root canal treatment is not completed the infection will spread and in the long term the tooth may need to be extracted.
Does root canal treatment hurt?
No, the treatment will be completed under a local anaesthetic and should be no different to having an ordinary filling done. You may need pain relief to help with any discomfort after the anaesthetic wears off and for the next couple of days. You can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
What does root canal treatment involve?
The dentist will first numb the tooth using a local anaesthetic. They will then make a small hole in the top of the tooth, remove the infected pulp and drain any abscess. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling will be placed in the tooth and it will be left to settle for a couple of weeks. Once all the infection has cleared the tooth will be permanently filled. In order to strengthen and protect the tooth it may be necessary to crown the tooth at a later date.
Although some root canal treatments can be completed within one appointment, most are done over two or more sessions with your dentist. This is because they are a time consuming, highly skilled procedure.
What if I don’t have the treatment?
The alternative is to have the tooth out. Although some people would prefer to have the tooth out it is usually better to keep as many natural teeth as possible.
Where is root canal treatment carried out?
Root canal treatment is a routine dental treatment, which the dentist can carry out. However, sometimes your dentist may refer you to an endodontist, who is a specialist in this type of treatment.
Benefits of Root Canal Treatment
- Root canal treatment will relieve your toothache – by removing the infected pulp and nerve you can be pain free.
- Root canal treatment will save your tooth – if left untreated an infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause the tooth structure to deteriorate. This means that the tooth would become unsalvageable and would need to be extracted.
- Root canal treatment improves your overall health – if left untreated the infection in your tooth can spread and can even travel from your mouth into other parts of your body. Undergoing root canal treatment is a proactive way to protect your wellbeing and maintain a beautiful smile.