Root canal treatment is one of the most common procedures we carry out, a lot of the patients we see for this are apprehensive about it- how long will it take? Does it hurt? How much will it cost? And of course everyone knows someone who has a horror story to tell! So we thought we would use our popular blog posts to lay out the facts….
Root canal is used to treat a tooth which has infection present- tooth decay, leaking fillings and trauma are some causes of this, The tooth is made up of the crown which you can see and the root which is in the bone. The root contains the pulp and this has nerve tissue in which keeps the tooth alive. If this becomes infected the tooth will eventually die and this can be extremely painful and lead to an abscess. The aim of root canal is to clear bacteria and damaged nerve tissue from the tooth, disinfect it and fill the root canals with a rubber filling material to help to save the tooth.
One of the best ways to avoid this treatment is to see a dentist at the first sign of toothache as if treated early this can stop the spread of the bacteria to the root canal. Antibiotics are not effective for root canal infections. Root canal can stop you from having the tooth removed but as with any treatment it is not always 100% successful and your dentist should discuss the prognosis of the tooth beforehand- lots of factors can affect the success rate such as the amount of infection and the shape of the root canals.
Root canal treatment does take time as it is a very intricate procedure for the dentist- think taking a small instrument down the centre of a pencil lead but it should not be painful. You will be given local anaesthetic prior to starting treatment. Your tooth maybe a bit tender after the treatment but over the counter medication can be used to help this.
One of the best ways to avoid this treatment is to see your dentist regularly so they can thoroughly check your teeth- especially around your existing fillings- if you can’t remember your last appointment check today and book in!