Root Canal Therapy

What is Root Canal?Root Canal Therapy, epping dentist

The root canals are thin channels in your tooth that runs down to the tip of the root. It carries the tooth’s nerves, veins & arteries (the pulp). A tooth has from one to four root canals.

Deep decay, a fracture or traumatic injury to the tooth allows bacteria to seep in causing an infection in the pulp and it eventually can die. When the pulp is infected it causes increased pressure inside the tooth resulting in pain. Pain is commonly felt when biting down, chewing & with hot or cold foods & drinks.

Why do I need Root Canal Therapy?

The tooth will not heal by itself without treatment, the infection will spread resulting in:

  • Bone loss around the tooth, and the tooth may fall out
  • Worsening pain until you are forced to seek emergency dental attention

The only alternative is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift crookedly, resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy.

If the tooth has a good outlook, it’s may be best to keep your original teeth.

What is involved in Root Canal Therapy?

Once Dr Le performs tests on the tooth & recommends therapy, Dr Le can perform the treatment or refer you to an endodontist (a pulp specialist). Treatment usually involves 2 to 4 appointments.

More than 95% of root canal treatments are successful. 

What happens during the appointments?

You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. Then a rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to isolate it & keep it clean. A gap is then drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber. Any infected root canal is cleaned of all diseased pulp & reshaped. Medication will be inserted into the canals to fight bacteria.

X-rays will also be taken to determine lengths on the canals. The crown will be sealed temporarily to guard against recontamination, or the tooth may be left open to drain infections. Then the canals are filled to prevent bacteria from re-infecting the canal. Once filled, the tooth is permanently sealed.

As the tooth is very weak Dr Le may recommend a gold or porcelain crown be placed over the tooth to strengthen its structure & improve its appearance. Sometimes a metal post will be required & is inserted above the canal filling to reinforce the tooth.

What are the risks and complications?

  • Natural tissue inflammation may cause discomfort for a few days, which can be controlled by an over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Sometimes a case needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots that went unnoticed, the fracturing of a canal filing instrument used or it fails altogether causing marked return of pain – all of which rarely occur.

What Supportive Therapy is available?

When treatment is complete, regular follow-up exams are held to monitor tissue healing. The tooth may be expected to last as long as any other natural tooth.

It is also important to brush & floss regularly, as well as avoiding to chew hard foods on the treated tooth.

Book an Appointment to find out more about root canal therapy.

 

Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.

Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp (soft tissue inside your teeth containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue) becomes inflamed or diseased. During root canal treatment, your dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating the insides of teeth) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed. If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result, and your tooth may have to be removed.

Causes of an infected pulp could include:

  • a deep cavity
  • repeated dental procedures
  • a cracked or broken tooth
  • injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)

If you continue to care for your teeth and gums your restored tooth could last a lifetime. However, regular checkups are necessary; a tooth without its nerve can still develop cavities or gum disease. Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.

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