Have you ever felt a stinging sensation in your tooth when you drink hot or cold beverages? Do you ever find that you cannot bite into your favourite ice cream? Although these symptoms are quite common, especially within adults, they should be addressed as soon as possible. Tooth sensitivity can sometimes be an early indicator of the presence of a crack in your tooth or its root, thus leading to an infection of its inner canals. Left untreated, this infection will persist and prompt further symptoms such as tender gums, difficulty biting or chewing, and discoloured teeth.
What is a Root Canal Infection?
Root canal infections do not develop overnight. Consistently inadequate oral hygiene habits or trauma can provide an opportunity for bacteria to gain access to the canals in the tooth root. The roots and pulp over time begin to be damaged due to bacteria rapidly multiplying thus causing an infection which leads to deep root pain.
Can a Root Canal be avoided?
If the bacteria has entered, infecting the pulp and roots of the tooth a Root Canal is required to properly treat the tooth. However, alternative options such as extraction and tooth replacement via bridges, implants and partial dentures are viable.
How is a Root Canal treatment performed?
Our Dentists are extremely experienced in performing successful root canal treatments and thus we have a very well-planned procedure, so patients are as comfortable as possible.
After the initial appointment, the dentist will run the patient through the procedure in person where any question that the patient may arise will be addressed. Once consent is received the Dentist will begin to execute the procedure.
Our Dentists will take an X-Ray to analyse the shape of the root canals and determine the sites of infection in the surrounding bone and then inform the patient the degree of infection through visual photographs that have been causing the sharp pain.
Following this, our Dentist will apply high-quality local anaesthesia to numb the area near the infected tooth, immensely reducing the discomfort allowing the patient to feel more relaxed through the procedure.
4. Final Preparations
To keep the area dry and free of saliva during the treatment, our dentists will place a sheet of rubber around the tooth, so involuntary reflex tongue movements do not interrupt the procedure, whilst also maintaining the clinics’ professional hygiene protocols.
5. Bacteria removal
The next step is drilling access into the tooth. This allows the Dentist to be able to remove the pulp, bacteria and decayed nerve tissue from the infected tooth. The area is then cleaned out using a series of root canal files. They’re placed into the access hole and work down the full length of the tooth to scrape and scrub all the surfaces of the root to ensure that all the bacteria is removed. After the work is done our Dentist will fill spray a compound that flushes away all the additional debris to ensure the tooth is fully cleaned.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it’s then sealed. Our dentist wants our patient’s root canal treatments to be a permanent procedure so that’s why we wait a week before permanently sealing the tooth. As at times there can be an infection that can still grow in the pulps of the tooth and therefore the dentist will apply medication inside the tooth to clear it up over a period of time and then sealed with a temporary filling to keep food and saliva out between appointments.
7. Final restoration
At the next appointment, to full the interior of the tooth, a sealer paste and a rubber compound are placed into the root canal, and then a final filling will be put in to close the initial access hole created at the beginning of the treatment.
8. Additional Circumstances
As every patient’s circumstance is different, a final step may need to be involved to permanently restore the tooth. Depending on the tooth decay and previous large fillings, patients may need a crown or other restoration alternatives to protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking in the future. These circumstances, however, will be disclosed prior to the procedure.