A root canal, or endodontic therapy, is a treatment option that allows you to keep teeth that would otherwise require an extraction. It is required if decay progresses to a level that causes your tooth’s nerve tissue to be affected. Once this occurs it is vital that the tooth be treated, otherwise this infection will spread causing other problems, such as;
- Severe, constant, throbbing pain
- Facial swelling
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Spread of infection to other parts of the body, making you feel generally unwell
Root canal treatment is the process of removing the infected or damaged tissue from inside a tooth. This tissue (or pulp) contains nerves and blood vessels that help nourish the tooth. During root canal treatment;
- The pulp is located and removed
- The pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, reshaped and sterilized
- The root canals and pulp chamber are filled and sealed so no bacteria can re-enter
The most common causes of pulp damage are severe decay or a fracture that exposes the pulp to bacteria. Other causes of pulp damage include traumatic injury, such as a blow to the tooth, a cracked filling, loose filling or repeated fillings in a tooth and occasionally periodontal, or gum, disease. Once the pulp has been exposed to bacteria it will eventually become infected. Unfortunately even with all of the modern advances in dentistry, there are still some teeth that are so badly damaged they cannot be saved. If this is the case, then other treatment options such as implant therapy or bridge work should be considered.
For more information about any of the above please do not hesitate to contact our surgery.