What Is Root Canal Treatment?
When teeth become decayed, broken or damaged through injury, the nerve can sometimes ‘die off’; if this happens and remains untreated, an abscess will form. An abscess is an infection that can be painful or uncomfortable; it can cause swelling to your face and neck, a high temperature and a bad taste in your mouth. If an abscess is not treated then it can lead to several possible complications including tooth loss, sinus infection or even blood poisoning.
It is easier to see why, then it is important, to treat an injured, decayed or damaged tooth at the earliest opportunity. Whilst tooth decay can often be remedied with a simple filling, root canal treatment may be necessary if your dentist discovers that your tooth’s nerve has been affected.
What Does Root Canal Treatment Involve?
If a tooth is badly damaged or infected, many patients seek an extraction to try to ease their pain: this is a natural reaction, but at Damira we try wherever possible to preserve our patients’ natural teeth and would always recommend the most conservative option available. In case of severe infection or damage, it may be possible to carry out root canal treatment, which will not only stop any pain but will also save the tooth.
Root canal treatment involves entering the root through the top of your tooth. A drill is used to enter the root and then all of the toxins that have collected in the root can be removed; the root can then be sterilised, filled and sealed to prevent the problem happening again in the future. Your dentist will use local anaesthetic to completely numb the area and to ease the pain you are already experiencing from the abscess, decay or damage.
Will Root Canal Treatment Work For Me?
If you are experiencing dental pain due to decay, damage or injury, root canal treatment might be appropriate if your tooth’s nerve is affected. Your dentist will be able to quickly assess whether this is the case, using x-rays if necessary, and can take prompt action to treat the infection or damage. Most patients experience instant relief following root canal treatment; sometimes the tooth and gum take a few days to recover from the treatment before feeling completely better. In most cases the entire tooth can be saved.
How Long Does Root Canal Treatment Take?
The time taken to carry out root canal treatment can vary depending on which teeth are affected (your back teeth have more than one root, and can take longer to prepare and repair). Your dentist will be able to give you a more accurate time estimate for your appointment when you attend, but you may spend up to 90 minutes being treated.
You may need to take a short course of antibiotics following your root canal treatment if your dentist believes that this is necessary to kill any remaining bacteria in your system.
As teeth that have been treated in this way can be at greater risk of breaking in the future, your dentist may recommend fitting a crown to the affected tooth; this would be carried out at a later appointment once your tooth had recovered from the root canal treatment.
If you are in pain or discomfort, call us and we will do everything we can to arrange an appointment as soon as possible for you. If you are unsure of whether you need root canal treatment or have any questions about this procedure, please feel free to call us and we will do our best to help.