A root canal treatment is performed in an effort to save a tooth that has been badly damaged due to decay, disease or injury. The purpose of this type of endodontic treatment is to try to save your tooth before extraction.
We try to save natural teeth as they generally function better than artificial teeth with their stronger and more efficient biting and chewing ability. If you take good care of your treated tooth it can last for years, even for the rest of your life.
A root canal treatment is required when the pulp of your tooth (the soft tissue deep inside the tooth which contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue) becomes infected or inflamed. This infection or inflammation can be caused by problems such as; a deep cavity or crack within the tooth, gum disease, or excessive wear or trauma to the tooth.
Usually when a tooth requires root canal treatment the tooth may feel painful or sensitive in the area, your gums may be swollen and your tooth can even be discoloured.
What does the treatment involve?
To increases the likelihood of a successful root canal treatment we recommend starting the treatment process as soon as possible to prevent further pain, abscesses at the end of the root developing and bone damage due to infection.
To begin the procedure our dentists will first take an up close x-ray of the tooth and the area around the tooth to see the tooth canals and condition.
A local anesthetic will usually be given to numb the area of the tooth. A rubber dam (a latex sheet) is then used to isolate your tooth keep it clean during the treatment. The dentist will then remove the inflamed or infected pulp in the tooth and then clean, enlarge and shape the canal. Antibacterial medication is placed inside the canals of your tooth to help stop the infection and inflammation within the tooth.
Your tooth’s canal will be filled and sealed in order to protect your tooth and prevent further infection. In some cases, in order to ensure the tooth is structurally stable enough to support an artificial crown a post may be placed within the tooth.
A root canal treatment can consist of several appointments for each step of the endodontic treatment and a temporary filling will be used to protect the inside of the tooth between appointments.
Once the root canal treatment is completed one of our dentists may recommend that your tooth have an artificial crown inserted. The crown would protect and strengthen the weakened tooth and restore the normal functionality and appearance of your tooth.