Root canal treatment is necessary if the blood or nerve supply to the tooth is infected due to decay, cracks or trauma.
Common causes for the need of root canal treatment are, severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity, pain to heat or cold temperatures, tooth decay, chipped or broken tooth, and repeated dental procedures on a tooth.
What does Root Canal Treatment really mean:
Root canal or endodontic treatment is a process whereby inflamed or dead pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth, enabling a tooth that was causing pain to be retained. Once a tooth is fully formed it can function almost as a well as a normal healthy tooth, after it has been root canal treated, and can remain in service for many years.
Why do I need Root Canal Treatment:
If you have a damaged tooth, root canal treatment may help to save it. Inside your tooth is soft tissue containing nerves, and blood and lymph vessels, known as the tooth pulp. When the pulp cannot repair itself from disease or injury, it dies. A fracture in a tooth or a deep cavity commonly cause pulp death, as the pulp is exposed to bacteria found in your saliva. When the pulp becomes infected, it is best to remove it before it spreads to the tooth and surrounding tissues. The whole tooth may be lost if the infection is left untreated. Root canal treatment in many cases can save your tooth.
What is the dental pulp?
The pulp is the soft tissue inside your tooth that carries the vessels (blood and lymph), nerves and connective tissue. It extends from the crown of the tooth right to the tip of the root (in the bone of the jaw).
Why does the pulp need to be removed?
Initially, you may experience pain and swelling from an infection. Damage to the bone surrounding your tooth can happen. Without root canal treatment, your tooth may have to be extracted.
What does treatment involve?
Root canal treatment may involve one to three visits. Dr Kelly Tse or if needed an Endodontist (a specialist in pulp problems) will remove the pulp of the tooth. They will then clean and seal the pulp chamber and root canals. The steps involved in root canal treatment are:
1. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber
2. The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned and shaped.
3. Medication is used to prevent infection in the pulp chamber.
4. Dr Kelly Tse may leave the tooth open in order for it to drain, however often a temporary filling is placed in the crown of the tooth to protect it until your next visit. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection.
5. The temporary filling will be removed, and after cleaning, the pulp chamber and root canals will be filled.
6. And for the last step, Dr Kelly Tse may place a crown over your tooth.
How long will the restored tooth last?
If you look after your teeth and gums, your root canal treated tooth could last a lifetime. However, you must have regular checkups to ensure that the tissues around it are nourishing the root of your treated tooth.