Root Canal Treatment is a dental procedure used to save a tooth with a nerve that is diseased. This procedure allows a tooth to remain in the mouth whilst having its nerve removed.
Every tooth has a central nerve and blood supply – known as the pulp -which connects to your jaw bone. If the pulp, which provides nutrients to the tooth becomes damaged or diseased the pulp tissue can die.
Decay (most common) – if you have a hole in your tooth which is deep enough to reach the nerve.
Infection – of the surrounding gum and bone leading to infection/damage of the pulp.
Broken tooth – which exposes the nerve. This usually follows trauma such as a sports injury or breaking a filling.
If the damaged pulp is not removed your tooth may get infection. This can lead to symptoms such as sore to touching or biting or sensitivity to hot/cold and sweet stimuli. Usually the pain is of a dull throbbing nature which continuously gets worse. Left untreated, this may lead to loss of the tooth.
When a tooth is infected a root canal treatment is the only way to save the tooth (expect for extraction).
A root canal treatment usually compromises of 3 stages:
Stage 1: Removing the nerve from the root canal of the tooth. Often this is done when the patient is already in pain.
Stage 2: Main objective is to file and shape the root canals where the nerve/pulp tissue once occupied. The purpose of this is to remove all bacteria from inside the tooth effectively making the tooth bacteria free and also reshape the root canal system so they can be properly filled.
Stage 3: After preparing the canals, the root canal system is sealed with a rubber based material which prevents bacteria from reinfecting the tooth.
In most cases, a root canal tooth will require a crown. This is usually because the tooth becomes quite weak and can fracture easily. Another common side effect of Root Canal Treatment is discoloration of the tooth which can be easily treated with a crown (cap over the tooth).
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