What is it?
Teeth are held in the jaws by their roots.
In the centre of each tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp. This contains living fibres, cells, nerves and a blood supply, extending into the root(s) through the root canal(s).
Decay or injury can kill the living pulp. The dead pulp leads to an abscess and toothache.
Root canal treatment means removing damaged or dead pulp and filling the space left. The remaining tooth can then be fixed.
What will my dentist do?
An x-ray can show the number and shape of the root canals, and also signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Teeth can have a number of roots and some roots are easier to fill than others, because of their shape.
You will be given a local anaesthetic to eliminate any pain during treatment.
A rubber dam is placed over the tooth attached to a frame This keeps the root canal free from bacteria in saliva increasing the success rate and preventing any instruments and irrigants going down the mouth.
Then an opening is made through the top of the tooth, down into the pulp.
The dentist then uses special narrow files to remove the dead pulp from the centre of the tooth and from the root canal(s).
Xrays may be taken to determine the correct length to which to clean and fill the root canals.This may also be done with a device called an apex locator that helps electrically determine this.
At this point, the dentist may put in a temporary filling and possibly also give you antibiotics if any infection has spread beyond the tooth. If so, you will have to return at a later date, once symptoms have settled, so the dentist can complete the treatment. In the next stage, the dentist fills the root canal(s) with a rubbery material called GuttaPercha .
A filling is then placed in the re maining cavity in the top of the tooth. Or, if necessary, a crown or an onlaycan be placed on top of the tooth, supported by a post placed inside of the filled root canal if the tooth is weak.The post strengthens the remaining tooth above the gum.Crowning or onlaying teeth has been shown to increase the long term survival rate of the teeth.
Root filled teeth can become darker than other teeth, but bleaching can be used to make them look lighter.
What are the benefits?
Pulp damage can cause toothache but the pain will usually end very quickly when the root
canal is cleaned out.
Without a root filling, a tooth with a dead pulp would probably have to be taken out in the end. There is also a possibility of infection spreading beyond the tooth itself.
Root-fillings are usually successful in 80 -90% of cases and can last many years.
Here at Wigan Dental and Implant centre we are devoted on helping you keep your teeth for smiling and eating.So providing high quality root canal treatment is essential to us.In this we have invested heavily on learning the latest techniques and utilising the latest equipment and materials which includes digital x-rays.
re-treatment is also possible if infection recurs. Occasionally, if inflammation persists at the tip of the root, surgery can be carried out to remove part of the root, clean the area and put in a filling. This is known as anapicectomy.