Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a treatment for saving a tooth from extraction
At Duck Creek Dental we offer patients root canal therapy as option for saving a tooth from extraction. Once a tooth has come through it no longer needs the pulp to function, so all removing the pulp will do is stop the pain of infection and save the tooth. Also, it will stop the infection spreading.
The anatomy of a tooth:
-The outer layer of the tooth is the enamel
-The core and shape of the tooth is the dentine
-The central part of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels is the pulp.
Main reasons the pulp needs to be removed:
-Untreated decay can eat its way through enamel and travel into the pulp chamber
-A severe knock can also adversely affect the pulp
-Severe gum disease, or periodontitis, when the gum pulls away from the tooth creating a gap. Bacteria then gets trapped causing an infection which can infect the pulp.
Signs and symptoms you may need root canal therapy
Pain is often the most common symptom: anything from a dull, persistent ache to severe pain when biting. Other signs and symptoms include a spot appearing on the gum or swelling in the gum area surrounding your tooth.
At your initial appointment your Duck Creek Dental dentist will locate the offending tooth and take an x-ray in order to show the roots of the tooth, to see how far the decay has travelled and if there is an abscess present. A course of antibiotics may be given to clear the abscess before the treatment is started as the abscess will reoccur if the treatment is NOT carried out.
The first appointment
During the first appointment your dentist will prepare your tooth for the root canal. The full procedure has been listed below for your understanding.
The dentist will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and the area surrounding it.
Your tooth will then be isolated from the rest of your teeth using a ‘rubber dam’ which is a thin sheet of rubber placed over your mouth. It is used to keep the tooth dry as saliva has bacteria present which can infect the tooth. It is also used to protect your airway as the instruments used to clean the canals are very small.
Your dentist has to gain access to the pulp chambers; this is done by drilling a hole in the top of your tooth.
Once access has been gained to the pulp chambers the dead pulp is removed from the root canals using very small files and a hydrochloric wash. An additional x-ray will be taken at this point.
Once the root canals are cleaned the dentist will place a medication to help clear any bacteria. The tooth will then either be temporarily filled and another appointment required or if the infection was not too serious, the tooth can be filled permanently and your treatment complete.
The tooth may feel tender for a few days and you may need to take pain killers
If a second appointment is necessary:
You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb tooth and the surrounding tissue
The rubber dam will be placed and your temporary filling will be removed.
The dentist will continue cleaning out the canals using the same process as before. Once the canals are clean and dry they will be filled with a material called ‘Gutta Percha’ which is placed into the root canal until it is sealed.
An X-ray is then taken to check that the canals have been filled completely.
A permanent filling will then be put in place.
Your dentist may advise you to have a crown placed on the tooth to strengthen it.