What is it?
A root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, removes a part of your tooth that is causing problems due to an infection, injury or dead root. The root canal system is the space inside the hard layers of each tooth and can become infected when any bacteria gets in through cavities or cracks in the tooth.
This infection is called an abscess, and when a tooth becomes abscessed, it can cause pain or swelling and needs to be removed. Without treatment, an abscessed tooth can cause severe oral health issues and can often only be discovered with a dental x-ray.
Who performs it?
Many dentists are qualified to administer a root canal treatment themselves and others may refer you to an endodontist. Endodontics are a specialized field of dentistry that is focused on the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.
What are the steps?
- You are given a local anaesthesia
- The tooth is protected from saliva and bacteria with a rubber dam
- A hole is drilled into the tooth to make an opening to access to damaged area
- The damaged pulp/nerve will be removed by cleaning the system
- The hole will be sealed and filled and the tooth will also get a filling
Tooth restoration after a root canal
After a root canal, the tooth must be fixed to appear as natural as possible. A permanent filling or a crown may be used to further support the damaged tooth, especially for back teeth as chewing can put forth a lot of force on the affected area.
Most root canal treatments can be completed in one or two appointments. Soreness of the affected tooth area should not last for too many days; if pain persists, it may indicate the need for another root canal (retreatment) or another infection of the area, such as gum disease. It is important to maintain a strict oral hygiene regiment to prevent further damage.
Root Canal Surgery
When a standard root canal treatment is unsuccessful or cannot be done, root canal surgery is needed. This type of surgery would look at the root for any cracks or fractures and remove any damaged pulp. It could also eliminate an infection in the area that has not yet healed.