Save your tooth with Root Canal Treatment!

What is tooth pulp

Tooth pulp, also known as the nerve area, is the soft living blood vessels, connective tissues and large nerves that form the most important part of the tooth. It originates in the centre of the tooth, underneath the enamel and the dentin layer, within the pulp chamber.

The tooth pulp has the following functions:

  • Sensory function – the tooth pulp can sense pain from trauma.
  • Formation of dentin – the tooth pulp forms dentin.
  • Nourishment – the tooth pulp is also responsible of keeping the teeth moisturised and nourished.

What is a root canal

When a tooth decays and becomes infected, the infection could spread into the pulp of the tooth (the nerve area). The canals of the tooth could then become infected causing the tooth to start dying off. This could be followed by severe swelling and pain in the tooth and infected area.

Root canal therapy could be done to help save or repair the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading further and damaging the tooth more. This procedure would involve removing all the dead pulp from within the tooth.

When is root canal therapy required

  • When you have a severe tooth decay.
  • When your gums start to swell up.
  • When the nerve area (pulp) of the tooth has become infected.
  • When you have very bad breath that you cannot get rid of.
  • When you have a throbbing toothache that won’t go away.
  • When your teeth are very sensitive.
  • When you have extreme pain in the mouth and face.
  • When your teeth begin to discolour.

What is the procedure for root canal therapy

Step 1:   Our dental professionals at Byron Family Dental will begin the procedure by numbing the tooth and the surrounding area. This is done to make sure that there is absolutely no pain or feeling in that area during the root canal procedure.

Step 2:   The dentist will then open the tooth to gain access into the pulp chamber.

Step 3:   All the infected tissues, dead pulp and debris are cleaned out from the area within the tooth using special dental instruments.

Step 4:   Once the tooth is completely cleaned out of all dead pulp, debris and infected tissue, the canals are filled with a permanent material called ‘gutta-percha’ after it has been washed and dried. This material will help protect the tooth from further contamination.

Step 5:  A crown is then fitted onto the rebuilt tooth once the opening has been sealed up.

What precautions should be taken after root canal treatment takes place

  • Take the prescribed medication as indicated and visit the dentist for a check-up to follow up on the recovery process of the root canal treatment.
  • Always keep hydrated and try to eat foods that are soft.
  • Avoid chewing on the affected tooth after root canal therapy has taken place.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene by cleaning your teeth and the affected area regularly.
  • Be gentle while you are brushing over the treated area.
  • Monitor your levels of pain and please contact us at Byron Family Dental if the pain persists after a few days.
  • Do not exert too much pressure on the treated area. It will be quite sensitive and tender after the treatment.
  • Do not eat foods that are hard or crunchy.

Are there complications after a root canal treatment?

There are very few instances where complications may occur after a root canal treatment, however, it is good to be aware of the complications and take necessary precautions and immediate action.

The following complications might occur after a root canal treatment takes place:

  • The tooth becomes re-infected.
  • In cases where there are complex tooth structures, some root canals could be missed.
  • During the procedure, pieces of dental material could get into the canal and become stuck there.
  • There could be a fractured root or crown.

Will my root canal treatment hurt?

As much as our team of dental professionals do their very best to make sure you are comfortable during the root canal treatment, there could be some pain that is felt before the procedure can take place. This pain does not come from the actual procedure but from the infected pulp in the tooth. Your tooth and surrounding area is therefore numbed to ease the pain before the procedure begins.

How long does a root canal take?

The root canal procedure generally takes around 90 minutes to complete, although this does vary from case to case, depending on the severity of the damage and the location of the affected tooth. During this time, you shouldn’t feel any pain because the site of treatment will be numbed. Your dentist will open up the affected tooth and carefully remove all the infected tissue, dead pulp and debris. When the tooth has been adequately cleaned, the canals are filled with a special material, which protects the tooth from further contamination. A crown can then be fitted.

Can you get an infection after a root canal?

Yes, although it is rare, it is possible for your tooth to become re-infected. This can occur when infected debris is left behind in the canals near the root of the tooth. If a root canal becomes re-infected after your procedure, your dentist may repair the issue by means of an apicoectomy, a procedure in which the root tip and infected tissue are removed. By performing this follow-up procedure, it is often possible to prevent a tooth extraction. If your dentist does not believe that an apicoectomy is the best treatment option, they may perform a second root canal procedure first.

How do you know if your root canal is infected?

Some possible signs of root canal infection may include severe pain when you are eating, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, swelling and tenderness in the gums near the affected tooth, bumps on the gums, and discolouration of the affected tooth. If you notice any of these symptoms, we recommend that you come in and see us. Your dentist will perform an examination and determine the best course of treatment, which may involve a second root canal procedure.

Avoid losing your tooth! Root canal treatment can help save a decaying tooth. Book an appointment at Byron Family Dental today for professional advice on root canal therapy.