ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
At MSDS, we will always strive to save teeth where at all possible. Root canal treatment is a way of saving a tooth that has a dead nerve or infected pulp that would otherwise need to be taken out. Some factors that contribute to needing root canal are:
- Infected nerve caused by deep decay , or very large deep filling that is close to the nerve
- A trauma to the tooth from an accident or sporting injury where teeth have been knocked
- The tooth has gone a dark colour
Sometimes a nerve dies in the tooth for unknown reasons, but regardless of the cause, the pulp of the tooth becomes infected and can be very painful. Infection can grow within the pulp causing terrible pain and sometimes swelling of the face. Sometimes the pain of a dying nerve happens gradually and sometimes there is only minimal pain.
Root canal treatment is usually done over a few appointments* The first being ‘Root Canal dressing’ where the infected/diseased pulp is removed and the nerve canals cleaned and special medication is placed to clean up any infection. A temporary filling is placed on the tooth. The second appointment is ‘Root Canal filling’ where the nerve canal / pulp chamber is permanently and sealed. The last appointment is to put the restoration back into the crown of the tooth itself. *If you initially presented with pain, you may require an extra appointment at the start called an ‘emergency pulp extirpation’ and you may require antibiotics and pain relief.
Things to consider after having root canal treatment are:
- In most cases, we would recommend that your root canal tooth be crowned following treatment because an endodontically treated tooth is more brittle than a vital tooth and is more susceptible to fracture.
- You may notice that a tooth that has had root canal may discolour, especially noticeable on a front tooth. This does not have any medical effect on the tooth, but if it’s a front tooth, may require internal bleaching before being crowned.