Root canal treatment, also known as Endodontics, is the treatment of the pulp at the centre of the tooth which has become infected. Root canal treatment involves the removal and elimination of the infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial infection.
The pulp is a soft mass of tissue within the root that provides nutrients to the tooth to keep it healthy. The pulp contains nerves which when an infection occurs from decay or injury may cause an abscess and toothache. Root canal treatment involves removing the dead pulp and filling the remaining space to reinforce the tooth.
The procedure is totally pain-free and will save your tooth from needing to be removed completely.
Root canal treatment should remove your pain and discomfort and in turn save the tooth from being extracted. The pain is mainly caused by an infection, inflammation or abscess.
How can the pulp/centre of a tooth (the root canal) become infected?
An infection can occur from:
– Leaky fillings
– Tooth decay
– Damage to your teeth from trauma
The bacteria that live in the mouth will invade these vulnerable teeth.
When is a root canal treatment required?
When your dentist will be able to determine from your dental x-rays that the tooth’s pulp has been damaged by an infection. If a bacterial infection is present then this may lead to the pulp becoming inflamed and allow the bacteria to multiply and spread.
Symptoms of a possible pulp infection can include:
– Pain when biting or chewing
– A loose tooth
– Pain when eating/drinking hot or cold food/drink
The symptoms will appear to subside as the infection progresses and kills off the pulp, however this feeling of the tooth healing usually means that the infection has entered through the root canal system. Symptoms will then occur again such as:
– Pain upon biting and chewing
– Swollen cheek or jaw
– Pus oozing from the infected tooth
– Swollen gum near the infected tooth
– The tooth may become darker in colour
It is vital that you see your dentist if begin to develop toothache. If your tooth becomes infected, then the pulp is not able to heal itself. It is better to treat the tooth before the infection becomes to established as the root canal treatment is less likely to be successful. Antibiotics, which are used to treat bacterial infections, has no real effect in treating infected root canals. They are effective in treating an infection which has spread beyond the root which causes facial swelling.
If the decay is left untreated for too long then a root canal treatment may be your only option to save the tooth.
Having toothache and being in pain can really disrupt your day to day life so why suffer for longer than you need to. Book an appointment now so we can alleviate your symptoms through endodontics as soon as possible.
Fortunately we have some of the greatest skilled dentists, who are able to perform endodontic treatment and get you out of trouble, allowing you to get on with your life pain-free.
We advocate prevention to avoid oral health problems, but if you are experiencing pain or discomfort right now, we can remove that problem for you as early as possible. Don’t wait until your next check-up!
Our top expert dentists use only the best tools and equipment for diagnosing issues with your teeth. We will make sure that no problem is left unseen and alleviate your symptoms.
We use the highest quality materials and the latest technology available to perform out root canal treatments, giving you the best possible chance for long lasting results.
At Holford Partners Curaden we guarantee long-lasting results, free from pain both during and after treatment allowing you to get on with your life.
Root canal treatment is completely painless contrary to what people expect and build up in their mind. They are the best treatment to get relief from the discomfort of an infected tooth that would otherwise be removed. The procedure will involve a topical anaesthetic prior to the local anaesthetic which will numb the whole area. You won’t feel a thing.
On average a root canal treatment will last between 1 to 2 hours. Typically you will require an additional appointment to complete the treatment.
A crown is not always clinically necessary following root canal treatment. The need for a crown is usually determined by how much of the tooth structure is remaining post treatment. You will typically require a crown following root canal treatment if more than half of the tooth’s structure is removed to fortify the tooth and protect it.
You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area during treatment. Once the procedure has finished, you will be able to return to work straight after. You should avoid any strenuous activities and take it easy. Hot drinks and food should not be consumed until the anaesthetic has worn off otherwise you will risk burning yourself. Until the root canal treatment has been fully completed you should avoid chewing or biting into hard foods.
You should avoid the following:
– Popcorn as there may be unpopped kernels which can easily break a tooth
– Hard food such as nuts
– Crunchy foods such as crusty bread or pretzels
– Hot foods and drinks until the anaesthetic has worn off
– Sticky foods such as caramels, toffees and gum
– Chewy foods such as steak
For children, you will see that permanent teeth are slightly darker than milk teeth. This is a sign of stronger enamel.
They are also susceptible to fluorosis, a condition that occurs because of an excess of fluoride from water and dental products in the first eight years of their life. That’s the reason why children’s toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride.
For most people, the common reason for yellowed or darkened teeth can be down to diet or lifestyle choices. Colourful food such as tomato sauces or curries, tea, coffee and smoking will gradually darken and discolour your teeth.
As we age, we will also experience our teeth getting gradually darker.
For sportspeople excessive trauma or constant knocking of the teeth will cause nerve damage inside the tooth. This will cause the nerve to eventually die creating a dark tooth that can only be whitened internally after root canal treatment.
The cost of crowns and bridges widely vary depending on the material and the quantity.
There are many alternatives to crowns and bridges but when you compromise on quality then the crowns and bridges will not last as long. As a result you will end up spending more in the long term for replacements which could have been avoided if you had chosen the slightly more expensive/longer lasting treatment. It all comes down to quality of life and you don’t want to have unnecessary replacements sooner than you should. You also want a crown or bridge that will look natural and blend in with your other teeth. Cheaper alternatives can often be obvious and look foreign in your mouth which can knock your confidence when you smile.
The best thing you can do to avoid additional costs for dental replacements is preventive care. Regular check-ups, professional hygiene cleans, excellent oral care habits, proper diet and nutrition will get you a long way.