Root Canal Treatment
What is a Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal treatment involves filling the inside of your tooth to prevent bacteria from growing in it. Each tooth has a space within it that contains blood vessels and nerve tissues that supply the tooth. A root canal treatment needs to be done if this tissue becomes infected or has severe swelling. If left untreated the infection can spread out of the end of the tooth and cause an abscess.
What does a Root Treatment involve?
During a root canal treatment, the root canals must be very well shaped, cleaned and filled to ensure the tooth remains free from infection. This is achieved by using as series of special files. Canals are then washed with a special anti-bacterial solution. They are then filled with a natural rubber material called Gutta Percha which is used with a sealer to prevent bacteria from re-infecting the root canal.
What are the benefits of a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatments eliminate the pain and infection from an infected tooth and allow the area to remain healthy and the tooth to remain in place. When the inside of a tooth has become infected from bacteria or severely swollen from trauma, a root canal treatment is the only way to save the tooth.
I heard that Root Canal Treatment is very painful, is that true?
This is a common myth. If the nerve in the tooth becomes infected and damaged then it loses feeling. Meaning that sometimes a local anaesthetic isn’t even necessary. If the nerve is inflamed or you would prefer the tooth to be numbed then local anaesthetic can be used to freeze the tooth so that the treatment is pain free.
What are the alternatives to having a Root Canal Treatment?
The only alternative to a root canal treatment is to extract the tooth. If the nerve of a tooth is irreversibly damaged then the body will not heal the tooth. While symptoms may initially resolve, infection or pain will always recur, usually in the form of an abscess.
At Wessington Dental / Northern Centre for Implant and Aesthetic Dentistry, we have dentists who have further qualifications in root canal treatment (endodontics), so you will always be given the best care possible.
What are the benefits of having a Tooth Extraction?
Extracting a tooth is beneficial because it eliminates existing pain and infection.
What is the alternative to having a Tooth Extraction?
If a tooth is broken down due to decay or trauma, the dentist may be able to restore the tooth instead of extracting it. If a tooth is infected but adequate tooth structure and bone support remain, it may be saved with a root canal treatment.
Instructions After an Extraction
In order for your body to heal well, you should minimise your activity for a period of time after having an extraction.
As your body heals, a blood clot will form within the extraction socket.
The basic considerations after having a tooth extracted are as follows:
- Do not disturb the wound. Stay away from brushing the area for the first few days to prevent disruption of the blood clot.
- Do not use tobacco products for a week following a tooth extraction. This can impede the healing process and can result in a dry socket.
- Cold packs applied to the outside of the face in the surgical area may help to reduce swelling during the first few days after your extraction.
- Keep direct pressure on the surgical site using sterilized gauze for 1-3 hours following a tooth extraction. Change the gauze every 20-30 minutes. This will help in reducing the bleeding and allowing a blood clot to form.
- Take medication for pain following a tooth extraction; some discomfort following the procedure is normal.
- For the first 24-48 hours a soft food diet should be maintained. Avoid any chewing in the area that has had the tooth removed. This will help decrease irritation to the area and prevent potential bleeding, swelling or infection
- Maintain a very low activity level for the first few days following a tooth extraction to prevent continued bleeding.
What is a Silver Filling?
A silver filling is an ‘Amalgam’ or metal filling that builds back missing tooth structure to its original form.
What material is in a Silver Filling?
A silver filling is a mixture of silver, mercury, tin, copper and zinc. The mercury binds the other metals together to form a strong material once the silver filling has set.
What are the benefits of a Silver Filling?
Silver fillings have long-term durability, relative low cost and good strength once they have set. They are well suited for teeth that your dentist is unable to keep clean and dry as they set well even in a moist environment.
What are the alternatives to having a Silver Filling?
The alternatives to having a silver filling are:
Having a tooth coloured filling or ‘composite’ placed.
Having a gold or porcelain filling (either inside or over the tooth) placed.