The root canal system is at the centre of a tooth and contains the soft pulp tissue. This includes the nerves and blood vessels.
Root canal treatment involves removing this tissue and filling the tooth before sealing it, usually with a Dental Crown.
When a tooth becomes damaged or decays, it can lead to infections caused by bacteria. When this affects the soft dental pulp, it will begin to die causing a further increase in the bacteria. This is likely to lead to an abscess and swelling of the face. This can be very painful and a root canal procedure will prevent it reaching this stage.
The only alternative option is to have the affected tooth removed, which could then be replaced by dentures, dental bridges or dental implants. Root canal treatment is likely to save the tooth.
In complex root canal cases your dentist will chose to refer you to a specialist in root canal treatment, an endodontist. An endodontist is someone who has qualified as a general dentist but undertaken further training in root canal treatment.
Endodontists will usually deliver a higher level of treatment over a general dentist due to their extra training and superior equipment.
This depends on individual factors such as the overall strength of the tooth and how well it is looked after both before and after the procedure. If good care is taken, it could last a lifetime although our dentist may be able to advise more clearly for.
If done correctly, root canal treatment will not be so painful. The success of treatment depends on the tooth itself, and the equipment used by our team.
Once the pulp has been removed, the nerves will no longer exist so you will not be able to feel any pain.
If the pulp is infected by bacteria, will antibiotics not work?
Antibiotics usually offer temporary relief and it will flare up again unless the tooth is removed or root canal treatment is carries out. This is because the infection is in the pulp (nerve) within the tooth and this has to be removed.
Can infection re-occur after Root Canal Treatment?
This is unlikely although there may be rare occasions where it can re-occur. It is easy to redo the procedure. Having treatment carried out by an endodontist reduces the chances of needing further treatment.
What happens during the procedure?
The dentist will remove the infected pulp. They will remove the infected pulp and then clean the chamber to remove all the bacteria. Once this has been done, the chamber will be filled. This process may take more than one visit depending on each individual. To finish the procedure, a cap or crown will be fitted to seal the tooth.
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