Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a process of removing decayed or injured pulp tissue and replacing with an alternative filling.
A tooth needs root canal treatment after the pulp becomes infected, which can be noticeable by an abscess forming, although occasionally a tooth can die and cause no pain/swelling or other symptoms.
Root canal treatment is takes on average between 2 and 3 appointments to complete and can be time consuming with each appointment taking around 45mins. Root canal treatment like any treatment in dentistry it is not a guaranteed option, this is because there are minuscule canal openings which cannot 100% be filled and may again get infected.
During each stage of the root canal treatment you will be given a local anaesthetic to make the treatment more comfortable to you. Between appointments the dentist will place a temporary filling to protect the tooth from further infection/debris.
Due to the removal of the live tissue in the tooth, the tooth can become brittle in the future, your dentist may advised you to consider a permanent restoration in the form of a crown or onlay to protect to tooth.
If after completion of a root canal treatment the tooth becomes infected again there are a few options available to try and save the tooth and avoid extraction; re-root treatment can be done PRIVATELY by a endodontic specialist, or an apicectomy (which involves a surgical approach to removing the tip of the root, removing infection and sealing. again which is not guaranteed). Again these treatments are not guaranteed treatment options.
After root canal treatment is done the tooth can look darker in appearance, there are options available if this happens, these can be discussed with your dentist in more detail.
If you do not wish to have root canal treatment and the tooth is infected then your options are limited and we would advise extraction of the tooth. This is because it is not recommended to leave a point of infection in the body as it can spread.
After a root canal treatment you must still care for the tooth as you would a normal tooth, meaning twice daily brushing and use if either floss or interdental brushes. Its advised also for improved diet control with no mre than 4 sugar or acid attacks daily including meal times, as sugar/acids can cause decays which can lead to more root treatmetns being needed.