Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is required when the pulp (soft, living tissue) inside your tooth has become infected. There is no ‘easier’ option, as the only other treatment available is to remove the tooth and get an implant. Root canal treatment is carried out under anaesthetic and should solve the problem, so there is no need to fear it.
Do I need a root canal?
The pulp inside the tooth is where the blood vessels and nerves live, and this area is usually unaffected by small cavities. However in cases where the decay has spread deep into the tooth, or the tooth is cracked or damaged, the pulp can become inflamed and infected.
The symptoms include tooth sensitivity, a general tooth ache, or particularly localised pain when chewing. In more advanced cases an abscess can develop under the tooth, the gum becoming sore and inflamed. Left untreated this infection can cause severe pain and spread through the gum into the bone and cause serious issues.
What happens when you have a root canal?
Before your root canal procedure, we will anesthetise the area. More anaesthetic is required than for a routine filling, because this treatment directly affects the nerve, so your mouth will go very numb. A rubber sheet isolates the tooth from the rest of your mouth so that the bacteria cannot spread to the rest of your mouth.
We will then drill an opening in your tooth to access the pulp. Disinfectant and very fine instruments are used to wash and scrape out the infected tissue and damaged nerves and kill the bacteria. After this, the canal is sealed with a rubber-like substance, before the tooth is then capped off with a crown or filling, depending on the level of damage to the tooth. The tooth is still essentially dead, having no healthy living tissue and no blood supply, but a root canal saves the structure of the tooth for appearances and for the sake of your bite.
The treatment is usually carried out over either one or two appointments, depending on the complexity and severity of the case. Each appointment is between an hour and a half and two hours long.
Will it a root canal hurt?
It is important to us at Station Square Dental that our patients feel as comfortable as possible, so we will not continue with a root canal until we are absolutely sure the anaesthetic has done its job. With enough anaesthetic, a root canal should feel no more uncomfortable than your average filling.
Some people feel no pain at all following a root canal, however others feel a little tenderness and soreness for a day or two afterwards. It is unusual to feel any extreme pain and any ache can be helped by sleeping with your head elevated and taking painkillers (on the advice of your Station Square Dental dentist).
We will discuss everything with you in detail prior to the root canal, so you know what to expect. Whatever the situation, whether it has been caught early or is is more complex and advanced, we will decide on a personalised course of treatment so that you get the least pain and the best possible results.