At Lookswoow our dentists usually recommend root canal treatment (endodontics) when the nerve of a tooth is severely damaged by decay or infection. The procedure deals with removing the pulp or the living tissue inside the tooth, nerves, bacteria/decay and filling up the resultant space with special, medicated, dental materials to in order to restore the tooth to its full function.
Getting root canal procedure done is a matter of choice as in certain cases patients prefer removing the tooth entirely believing it be the best solution. However it should be noted that removing a tooth is ultimately more costly and can even cause unwanted issues for adjacent teeth.
Root canal procedure usually last lifelong but in certain, rare cases the problems resurface or new infections arise necessitating fresh treatment.
Signs you might need a root canal therapy:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold.
- Severe toothache.
- Swellingand/or tenderness.
Root canal is usually preferred if the decay has reached the pulp or if there is an infection inside the tooth. It is also recommended in cases where injury or trauma interrupts blood supply to the tooth.
What does root canal therapy involve?
- The procedure requires one or more appointments and is usually performed by a general dentist or a root canal specialist (endodontist).
- A rubber dam will be placed around numb tooth in order to keep it sterile, dry and free of saliva.
- An access opening is made on top of the tooth.
- A series of root canal files are placed into the opening, removing the pulp, nerve tissue and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
- After thoroughly cleaning the tooth it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
During the next appointment, usually after a week or so post treatment, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, most teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be slightly sensitive to pressure, but this will subside as any inflammation diminishes. You will also be given care instructions after each appointment.