Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment is the removal of any inflamed, infected or dead dental pulp or nerve tissue and its replacement with a biocompatible filling material. A tooth will go through several stages of disease as it dies inside, due to irritation or infection. It may be a reversable process in the early stages much inflammation builds up the dental pulp dies and may progress to a dental abscess. Bad signs are if the tooth becomes painful to hot rather than cold, is tender to tapping or a swelling has developed next to it. These are not the only possible reasons for these symptoms though.

Why Do Teeth Die?

Sometimes teeth can quietly die off, even several months later, after a knock, for example. The only hint of a problem may be a darkening in colour. The most common causes of problems are injury, a large cavity that has reached the dental pulp, or teeth that are heavily and/or repeatedly filled.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is usually a 2 step process.

  1. Firstly, the pulp is cleaned out and the root shaped ready to take a filling. A medicine is placed in the root to relieve inflammation and remove bacteria and then left at least a couple of weeks to heal. If there is a lot of damage to the bone around the root, we may leave it months to heal.
  2. Then we go back in, flush out the medicine and seal the canals with a biocompatible filling. Either a normal filling is placed on top of this or a post put in the root first and then a filling or crown over the top.
  • Generally, a crown is preferable as these teeth are more prone to fracture. It is believed this may be due to the fact the tooth is already quite hollow and/or the reflex has been lost which stops one biting too hard on something. A crown solves the common problem of the tooth going dark. Sometimes we can internally whiten such a tooth instead.

Generally, the quicker you seek treatment the more options you will have available to you, so don’t delay.”