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Root Canal – Endodontics

If you are in need of a root canal treatment you may feel slightly apprehensive. Often this procedure can be considered a painful and scary one. Rest assured that a root canal treatment is now a painless and much more dignified procedure. Endodontics (root canal treatment) is well practiced and regularly carried out by our skilled professionals at Inspired Dentistry.

Don’t be tempted to ignore the problem in the hope it will go away. If left untreated you are likely to be suffering considerably worse pain than you would during the procedure itself! If the problem is left to advance you could well end up with a painful abscess- or even loose the tooth altogether.

Why do I need a root canal?

The need for a root filling will arise as the result of an infection in the inner part of your tooth. A tooth comprises of several layers; the hard outer enamel, a softer dentin layer underneath and the central ‘pulp’ layer of the tooth which contains the root and soft tissues connecting it to the gum.

Sometimes the inside pulp of the tooth becomes infected- usually because of decay or damage. In this instance it is necessary to completely remove the infected pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the inside of your tooth and then filling it to help protect and stop any infection returning.

Although the pulp is required for the healthy development of a tooth, once it has fully matured it is possible to remove this pulp layer without any ill-effects. Provided it is cleaned and well-sealed an adult tooth can survive perfectly well for many years- although you may notice it starts to discolour a little overtime.

Are there any alternatives to a root canal?

There are other alternatives to a root canal. You could have a bridge or dental implant- however both of these are generally more involved and costly. The only other option is full extraction of the tooth- which we would always advise against due to the various issues that can arise as the result of a missing tooth.

Is a missing tooth really that bad? Well, yes- it can be! As well as an impact on your general self-confidence you may notice problems when speaking or eating. A missing tooth can increase your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease- because food and bacteria can become easily trapped and missed when you brush. Your other teeth can also start to move when there are gaps- resulting in twisting or spacing between your remaining teeth.

What is involved in a root canal treatment?

We will fully check your tooth to ensure that a root canal is definitely required with the use of x-rays.

The procedure will take place under a local anaesthetic to ensure you don’t experience any discomfort.

Firstly your tooth will be prepared with a dam to help keep it dry and free from any bacteria. A small hole is then drilled in the top of the tooth and a special tool used to completely remove all the dental pulp inside. One the tooth is completely emptied it will be flushed out to ensure all bacteria is removed.

The tooth will be finished with a crown or filling.

A root canal treatment will be completed over one or two appointments depending on the complexity of your case. If necessary, a temporary cover will be placed over the tooth to protect it between appointments.

After your root canal filling:

Following your root canal treatment it’s important to be very careful with the tooth. You should avoid eating on it until you have had the final crown or filling placed. Keep the tooth clean with regular brushing or flossing and attend regular check-ups with your Dentist.
With good care a root filled tooth can last just as long as any of your natural teeth.

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