Getting you out of pain!
Do you have pain in a tooth that won’t subside?
If tooth decay extends into the pulp of the tooth where the nerves are, the canals will become infected and the tooth will start to “die”. This usually causes severe toothache or swelling.
At this stage, you may be given two options:
- Extract the tooth, or
- Root Canal Treatment to try to “save the tooth”.
Root canal treatment can help to prevent the infection from spreading further, and protect the tooth from further damage. It is about 95-98% successful, depending on the position and condition of the tooth.
The two aims of root canal treatment are:
- To clean the tooth canals of any debris, blood, bacteria and infection
- To seal the canals and prevent further ingress of bacteria
You should seek dental care if you experience:
- Dull throbbing toothache
Teeth sensitivity to hot and cold
- Bad breath and teeth becoming loose
- Tender feeling on touching or chewing
- Extreme pain and swelling of the gums and face
- Pus oozing out of affected tooth
What happens during the root canal treatment procedure?
- You will be given a local anaesthetic to ensure a comfortable experience.
- Once the area is numb, the root canal treatment will begin.
- The dentist will clean out the tooth root canals through a small hole made from the top of the tooth into the pulp chamber. Thin files and a cleaning solution are used to clean out the canals.
- The dentist then shapes the canal into smooth, hollow tunnels.
- After shaping and cleaning, the dentist fills the root canals with gutta-percha (a rubber-like material), which is then mounted with an adhesive cement to seal up the root canals completely. This barrier prevents bacteria from entering the canal and re-infecting it.
It is very important that the root canal filling material fills the entire length of the canal. You may notice the dentist taking some measurements from the x-rays to ensure this.
After a root canal treatment, you are advised to place a crown over the tooth. This provides structural strength to the tooth and promotes its longevity. It also prevents further complications from occurring in the future.
Root canal aftercare:
- Take all prescribed medications as directed to prevent further infection.
- Avoid chewing or biting on the tooth immediately after. Eat soft foods instead and keep hydrated.
- Wait for complete recovery to consume foods that are hard or chewy.
- Keep the affected area clean by maintaining good oral hygiene habits.
- Occasionally, some people continue to experience pain after a root canal treatment. If the pain does not settle down after a few days, please contact our team at Aperture Dental Practice for assistance.