What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy, also known as endodontics or root canal treatment, is the dental procedure of an infection at the centre of the tooth. Dental root canal therapy is used to treat an infection that is caused by bacteria, which live in the mouth and invade the tooth.
Bacteria may infect the tooth after tooth decay, damage to the tooth from a trauma or through leaky fillings.
What does root canal treatment involve?
The root canal procedure is a skilled and time consuming procedure that will most likely entail two or more visits. The dental root canal procedure involves removing the dead, damaged or inflamed dental pulp. The dental pulp is the centre part of the tooth that is made up of living connective tissue and cells called odontoblasts.
Once the pulp has been removed, the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected. The resulting empty space is filled with gutta-percha , a rubber like material, and the remaining tooth is then repaired with a filling or crown put in place.
The root canal treatment is undertaken under a local anaesthetic and should be no more unpleasant that having a filling. Our root canal dentist may prescribe antibiotics if an infection has spreed and painkillers if necessary.
Why is root canal therapy needed?
Dental root canal treatment is needed when the nerve or blood supply of the tooth Is infected though injury or decay. Symptoms includes pain when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages, pain when chewing or biting and tooth loosening.
If left symptoms may disappear, as the pulp dies, but return along with facial swelling, gum swelling, or pus oozing from the tooth.
The need of a root canal for teeth is identified when dental x-rays show damage to the pulp, caused by the bacterial infection. Without a tooth root canal filling, a tooth with dead pulp will eventually need to be removed.
Root fillings are usually very successful and will last for many years. The root canal treated tooth can continue to function with further root canal treatment avoided, by not consuming too many sugary foods and maintaining good oral hygiene.