Root Canal Treatment
Are you worried that root canal treatment will be painful?
Have you heard “horror” stories about root canal treatment?
Rest assured, our aim is to always ensure your root canal treatment is comfortable. We put a huge emphasis on making your tooth completely numb before we begin. We can use the WAND to help with the numbing of the tooth as it is very effective at numbing up sore, tender teeth.
If it does happen that you feel any discomfort during the root canal treatment, we will stop and dress your tooth with a sedative dressing.
If you are still worried about having root canal treatment carried out, we can offer you I.V. Sedation to help you feel relaxed and calm.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Every tooth contains one or more root canals (also called the pulp) in the middle of the tooth. The root canals contain blood vessels which help to keep the tooth alive.
If an infection occurs inside the root canals the tooth can become very painful. Root canal treatment is a procedure which cleans out this infection in order to stop the pain.
Simple fillings clean out decay at the top of the tooth, but not the infection inside the pulp canals. Therefore, simple fillings are not a solution to an infection deeper inside the tooth, as they cannot address the infection in the pulp canal, the pain and discomfort caused by the infection may remain.
Why is Root Canal Treatment needed?
Root canal treatment is carried out in order to save a tooth that has an infected or diseased pulp canal. Root canal treatment is an alternative to tooth extraction.
Tooth decay that has progressed deep into the tooth is the most common reason for root canal treatment.
Tooth decay is full of bacteria and can cause an infection inside the root canals. If left untreated, this infection can cause an abscess. An abscess is an accumulation of pus below the tooth which can cause a lot of tenderness and swelling in the tooth and jaw.
Teeth that have very large, deep fillings may also require root canal treatment because the root canals can be irritated by restorative procedures and large fillings.
Other causes for root canal treatment can be an injury or a cracked tooth.
Symptoms of an Infected Pulp Canal
Some people present with no symptoms at all. In these cases, it is an x-ray that shows the presence of an abscess.
Where symptoms are present, they include:
- Lingering sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
- Painful when biting down on your tooth.
- Throbbing sensation in the tooth.
- Darkening of the tooth.
- Swelling or tenderness of the surrounding gum.
What you can Expect
Root canal treatment is carried out over the course of two appointments.
The first treatment session mainly focuses on eliminating the infection from the root canal system.
The tooth is numbed up really well, and the infected tissue cleaned out. This stage is not painful but you may notice a little vibration, just like having a normal filling done.
If you experience any discomfort at this stage, we will dress your tooth with a sedative dressing which will help to settle down infection and make the next treatment session more comfortable.
The second treatment session is usually scheduled for a couple of weeks following the first session.
At this session, the root canal is sealed up and the tooth is temporarily restored.
Many teeth that require root treatment are already weakened by decay or injury before treatment. In addition, teeth that have been root treated no longer have a blood supply and this makes the tooth more brittle and at risk of fracture. For these reasons, most teeth that have had root canal treatment benefit from having a cast restoration, usually a crown, fitted in order to strengthen the tooth. This can be scheduled for a later date.