If your tooth is badly infected, you may think that there is nothing that can be done to save it. However, that is where root canal can be the perfect solution. Root canal treatment will generally be recommended by your dentist if you are suffering from an infection which is hard to reach because it is deep within the tooth. Bacteria can invade your tooth through a cavity, crack or fracture and spread throughout your tooth down to the root.
The pulp within your tooth, which is the soft part at its centre, could have become infected with bacteria, either because you have injured your tooth, or because of a severe cavity which has not been treated. Without treatment, this infection can spread to other healthy teeth and gums, and become so severe that your tooth has been removed. Root canal treatment can be used to save your natural tooth.
It’s likely to be obvious that you need dental treatment if you have a pulp infection as you will probably be suffering from pain. Here are some of the symptoms you could be suffering, and some of the main reasons for root canal treatment.
There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings around what root canal treatment actually involves. Here is what you can expect to happen during your root canal treatment steps.
First, your root canal dentist will administer local anaesthesia to numb the area to be treated. Then, they will make a small opening in the tooth as part of the root canal process so they can remove all of the infected pulp inside. When your dentist is certain that the infected section of tooth has gone, they will then disinfect the tooth to remove any bacteria before closing the opening they made with a sealant.
To fully restore the look and function of your tooth, your dentist will then use a filling or a dental crown, depending on how much of your natural tooth has been removed. Your dentist will be able to advise on which follow-up treatment will be most effective after root canal surgery to give your tooth a natural, healthy appearance as well as ensuring that you can use that tooth in the same way as the rest of your natural teeth.
While root canal surgery has a reputation for being painful, most people find there is no more discomfort caused by root canal pain compared to getting a filling. You may feel a slight soreness at the affected area following your procedure, but that should soon disappear during your recovery. In the meantime, you can use over-the-counter painkillers to reduce any discomfort you may experience.
You can care for the tooth which has had root canal work in the same way as your natural teeth; by brushing, flossing and making sure you attend regular dental check-ups. Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and teeth which have been saved with root canal treatment can last you a lifetime.