Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment can help us save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted…
The pulp of your tooth, which contains the nerve and tiny blood vessels can become infected.
The tooth is made up of three main layers:
- The tooth enamel which is the tough protective external layer of the tooth
- The dentine which is the softer middle layer of the tooth
- The pulp, which is made up of dental nerves, blood tissue and the tooth root
If a tooth is damaged, chipped, decayed or the gum tissue is inflamed, this can cause the pulp to become infected and is very painful. An infection of the pulp is very dangerous as this can spread down the tooth root to the jaw and result in terrible toothache.
If your tooth pulp becomes inflamed it will require root canal therapy to save the tooth…
This can be caused by deep decay, recurring dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury or trauma to a tooth can also cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause severe pain or lead to an abscess and the tooth may have to be removed.
Generally a root canal treatment requires one to two appointments and involves:
- A small opening is carefully made in the top of the tooth using specially designed files and instruments. This allows our dentist to gently remove the infected pulp, drain any infection and dress the roots with antibiotic.
- After removing the pulp, your root canals are cleaned, sterilised and reshaped
- The root canals are then filled with a biocompatible material, usually with tiny cone-shaped rubber-like material called “gutta-percha”. This is placed to ensure the root canals are completely sealed to minimise any possibility of re-infection.
Following treatment, a porcelain crown is placed over the tooth in order to restore strength, function and appearance.
An infection of the pulp, an accident or a fracture can cause discoloration of a tooth. During your root canal treatment, an internal whitening agent can be applied to restore your tooth back to its natural colour. This may take one or several appointments. Internal whitening of a tooth is usually done when most of the natural structure remains. If much of the natural tooth has been removed, a porcelain crown is placed over the tooth and therefore whitening is not required