Mention the term root canal and most people will visibly cringe. Once upon a time, a root canal was a very uncomfortable and often very painful procedure and the myth has become so notorious that people still run in fear at the mere mention of a root canal.
Take a deep breath and relax. Today’s root canal treatment is a virtually pain free experience, with most patients only experiencing mild discomfort. A root canal involves eliminating an infection that is located deep within the tooth. Your Ace Dental practitioner will guide you through the procedure and ensure you are as comfortable and pain free as possible.
The main reason for needing a root canal is a dental pulp infection or inflammation. Dental pulp is the soft tissue hidden deep within the tooth. When this pulp becomes infected or inflamed, your tooth will hurt. Left untreated, the infection can spread to other teeth so it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible when your have a toothache.
It is generally easier to treat a tooth with an inflamed dental pulp rather than wait for it to become infected. Infected pulp usually develops an abscess which requires more work and you may need to visit the dentist on several occasions for an extensive root canal treatment.
The first step in a root canal treatment is to determine if you actually need this procedure. Your dentist will check your tooth and take an x-ray. The dentist will then completely numb the area around the affected tooth with an anaesthetic. The actual procedure begins with the dentist drilling into your tooth to expose the diseased pulp. That pulp is carefully removed and medication is inserted to eliminate any remaining infection.
Most root canals need at least two trips to the dentist so once the medication is inserted into the root canal cavity, your dentist will place a temporary filling to prevent the cavity from being exposed to air and food particles. At the start of your next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary filling and check the root canal to ensure it is healthy again. If all is well at this point, a permanent filling will be applied.
The main aim of a root canal is to save the tooth. By removing the infected dental pulp, the tooth can still function and be healthy because it is fed by the surrounding tissue. A root canal will also prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth because the infection is treated and eliminated. By avoiding extraction of the infected tooth, you also maintain the overall appearance of your jaw and once the tooth has a filling, it is virtually impossible to notice. This treatment also improves your overall oral health and wellbeing.
Due to the quality of anaesthetics used at Ace Dental, you will not feel any pain during a root canal treatment. Depending on the state of your tooth and dental pulp, you may only experience some mild discomfort.
Once the anaesthetic wears off, you may feel some discomfort in the area surrounding your treated tooth. This can be managed with over the counter medication. After a day or two, you should no longer feel any discomfort and you can resume your usual daily activities.
A root canal is an intricate procedure with the main aim of saving the infected tooth. The infected dental pulp is removed and the tooth filled so that it can once again function as a healthy tooth.
Extracting an infected tooth is sometimes necessary but should always be a last resort. This procedure is permanent. Once the tooth is extracted, it’s gone. That doesn’t mean you need to live out the rest of your life with a gap in your teeth. You can have a single denture fitted to fill the gap or your dentist may recommend a bridge.
Your Ace Dental practitioner will examine your teeth and discuss the best options for you.