A root canal treatment is where an injured, decayed or diseased tooth can be saved.  Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected.  The pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves.  When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, treatment is needed.  We at Cathedral Dental have in-depth experience with this intricate procedure.  We use only the best materials and equipment available to give you the best possible outcome.  That includes the preparation of the canals with state of the arthand and rotary instruments.

The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes:

  • Deep decay or cavity
  • Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
  • Crack or chip in the tooth
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth
  • Gum disease
  • Extreme wear of the tooth

All of these can allow bacteria to enter the pulp.  If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.  If an abscess is left untreated, the infection can damage the bone surrounding the root and may lead to septicaemia.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Pain
  • Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Tenderness to touch and/or chewing
  • Discolouration of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in nearby bone and gum tissues
  • Sometimes however, there are no symptoms

 

An x-ray will be required to examine the tooth and the extent of the damage.  A local anaesthetic will be given so you do not experience any pain throughout the procedure.  The dentist removes the decay through an opening they make with a dental drill through the crown (top) of the tooth into the pulp chamber.  The infected or inflamed pulp is removed with a special instrument called a file, and the root canals are carefully cleaned and shaped.  The root canals and root chambers are filled which seals the space to protect the inside of the tooth and prevent further infection.  A metal or plastic rod or post may be placed in the root canal to help retain the core (filling) material, or if it lacks enough structure, to support the restoration.  The tooth is then restored with an artificial crown or filling.  These are usually made of porcelain or gold to protect, strengthen and further seal the tooth.  After the root canal restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

 

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HOW LONG WILL THE ROOT CANAL LAST?

A tooth with a root canal filling can last for many years.  But, like any other tooth, it can become decayed or fractured or the tissue around it can get gum disease.  Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental exams will help keep your mouth healthy, whether you’ve had a root canal treatment or not.