Root Canal Treatment
What is it?
Teeth are held in the jaws by their roots.Front teeth normally have one root, but teeth further back have more.
At the core of each tooth is a soft mass of tissue called the pulp. In a healthy tooth, the pulp contains living fibres, cells, nerves and a blood supply,extending into the root(s) through the root canal(s).
Decay or injury can destroy the living pulp. Because dead pulp lacks a blood supply, it is more prone to infection, leading to an abscess and toothache.
Root canal treatment (also known as root filling or endodontics) means removing damaged or dead pulp and filling the space left.The remaining tooth can then be repaired.
What will my dentist do?
An X‐ray can show the number and shape of the root canals, and also signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Teeth can have a number of roots and some roots are easier to fill than others,because of their shape.
To keep root canals dry during treatment the Endodontist will stretch a sheet of thin rubber around the tooth, on a frame outside the mouth; this is called ‘rubber dam’. The Rubber Dam will prevent the medications used for cleaning your root canal from flowing into your mouth.. it also helps prevent any of the instruments used from accidentally being swallowed or aspirated.
You will be given a local anaesthetic , and then an opening is made through the top of the tooth, down into the pulp.
Endodontic files will then be used to remove the dead pulp from the core of the tooth and from the root canal(s).
We may put in a temporary filling at this point and also possibly give you antibiotics if any infection has spread beyond the tooth. If so, you will have to return at a later date,once the infection has settled, so that we can complete the treatment.
At the next appointment, your root canals will be filled and a permenant filling will be given. A porcelain crown may need to be placed after your root canal treatment.
What are the benefits?
Pulp damage can cause toothache but the pain will usually end very quickly when the root canal is cleaned out.
Without a root filling, a tooth with a dead pulp would probably have to be taken out in the end. There is also a possibility of infection spreading beyond the tooth itself causing swelling of the face accompanied by fever , weakness etc.