Root Canal Treatment
Anyone who has heard of the term “root canal “, instantly thinks of some horrendous, torturous treatment. Rest assured this is not the case! It is a relatively straight forward and painless procedure, similar in approach to having a deep filling done.
Root canal treatment (also known as endodontic treatment) is a series of procedures to save a tooth that has been damaged by decay, infection (abscess) or injury which otherwise would require an extraction.Root canal treatment is preferred over extraction because your own teeth will always function better than any artificial teeth can. They are much stronger and more efficient at biting and chewing than artificial teeth.
At commencement of root canaltreatment, referred to as “first stage” our dentist willgain access through the top of the tooth and use small hand instruments called files to reach into the canal of the tooth. The dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp; wash the canal out andfill with medication. The pulp chamber is then sealed to prevent any bacteria from re-entering the canal.
The“second stage” of treatment, is usually performed between 1 and 6 weeks after the “first stage”. The tooth is reopened; the canal is again cleaned out using a small handheld motorised file to ensure it is completely clean and free of any infection. After flushing the canal out with a special solution, it is then refilled with medication and sealed with a temporary material.
Sometimes, in rare cases, long term or chronic infection may persist, requiring an additional dressing be placed inside the canal. Our dentist will not proceed to completion until you are completely free of any remaining infection or pain.
Approximately 6 to 8 weeks later “obturation “ or “third stage “ can be performed so long as the patient is free from any ongoing pain or infection. Again the dentist will open and clean out the canal before filling the entire length of the canal with a rubber type product and seal the top with a temporary filling material.
A more permanent filling is then placed 8 weeks later.
It is recommended that at some point after finishing root canal treatment a crown is fitted to the treated tooth. Over time the tooth will start to dry out from lack of blood previously supplied by the now removed nerve. A dry tooth will eventually chip and crumble so placement of a crown will ensure a safe chewing tooth and attractive smile. Having a crown fitted after root canal treatment is a pain free procedure.