Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment or Endodontics is a dental procedure used to treat infection within the tooth. The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the pulp of the tooth. This can be a result of tooth decay, broken fillings or trauma to the tooth. Leaving an infected tooth in your mouth may make it worse and reduce the chances of root canal treatment working if the infection within your tooth becomes established.
Antibiotics are not effective in treating root canal infections.
It is often preferable to save a natural tooth rather than extract it. This is often less expensive than removing a tooth and replacing it with bridgework or an implant.
What does it involve?
Your dentist will take an x-ray to get a clearer picture of the root canal and assess any damage. The tooth will be numbed up and a rubber sheet will be placed around the tooth to prevent any bacteria from your saliva getting into the tooth. A series of files will be used to enlarge the narrow root canals and liquids to disinfect the root canal system. A filling material will be placed into the root canal system to seal it and prevent re-infection. The treatment can take more than one session to complete and a temporary filling will be placed in the tooth inbetween appointments.
Is it painful?
A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling. People tend to recall the pain they were experiencing before root canal treatment as opposed to the procedure itself
What happens after root canal treatment?
The tooth should be cleaned and cared for just as with any other tooth. The tooth usually has a pre-existing large filling or cavity and root filled teeth are more likely to break than a healthy unfilled tooth so often a crown is recommended after treatment to support or strengthen the tooth.
How successful is it?
Success rates are high and 9 out of 10 root canal treated teeth can survive for 10 years after treatment. Your dentist will advise you of how likely it is for root canal treatment to be successful for you.
What if my tooth has already had root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment can be repeated if for some reason it has not been successful first time around. Your dentist will advise you if this is likely to be successful for you.