What is root canal therapy?
There is a great deal of confusion around root canal therapy and for a lot of people they have heard terrible tales of how painful it is. So, here is some careful explanation to dispel some of the myths.
Inside a tooth is a nerve and blood supply. If the nerve is damaged or becomes infected a number of things could happen:
- the patient would usually experience considerable pain
- the infection may spread into the surrounding bone and cause an abscess and bone loss
- the infection could spread into the adjacent tissues of the face resulting in swelling and potentially very serious infection.
Root canal therapy cleans out the inside of the tooth to ensure that the infection is permanently removed.
What causes nerve damage?
There are a number of causes of nerve damage:
- the tooth may have a big cavity
- the tooth could be cracked or even broken
- there might be underlying gum disease
- the tooth has been traumatized by repeated fillings or even orthodontic movement
What does root canal therapy achieve?
The purpose of root canal therapy is to attempt to prolong the life of the affected tooth. The only other option for removing the source of infection is to remove the tooth.
What’s involved with root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy involves cleaning out all of the nerve and blood supply tissues of a tooth and sealing up the space so that bacteria cannot grow. This procedure is done with local anaesthetic. Modern instruments and materials have made it a usual dental procedure which is no more onerous than any other.
What to expect following root canal therapy
Following root canal therapy, a tooth will dry out and become quite brittle so it is important to consider the restorative options and discuss those with your dentist before choosing to go ahead with treatment. Root treated teeth that are not well restored afterwards will often fracture and still be lost, which is obviously a very disappointing and costly result for the patient. Click to read more about our restorative dental services.