Root Canal Treatment
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment may be needed when the pulp, which contains the nerve in the tooth, becomes infected which may have occurred due to decay or trauma. When a tooth needs a root canal you may be experiencing pain, however sometimes there may be no symptoms initially. A root canal may be suggested by your dentist as a way to save a tooth, avoiding the need to have the tooth pulled out.
Each tooth has an outer layer of hard enamel. The next layer of the tooth is the dentine. The innermost layer is the pulp which contains the nerve, which is removed during the root canal process. Molar teeth which have more than one root also have more canals. It is important that all of these canals are found to remove the infection from the tooth.
A root canal is completed over 2 or 3 visits. In the first visit the nerve is removed from the tooth and medication is placed within the canal to relieve pain. Sometimes a dentist may also prescribe antibiotics, however this is not always necessary and is determined on a case by base basis.
Over the next visits the canal or canals within the tooth are further cleaned and disinfected and later filled. A number of xrays may be taken throughout the root canal treatment to ensure that all the canals in the tooth are found and cleaned to the correct length. After the root canal visits it is normal to feel slight discomfort, this is normally relieved by Panadol or nurofen. While the pain may be relieved after the first visit, it is important that the treatment is completed otherwise there is a risk that infection may recur and the tooth is at risk of breaking down further.
Following the completion of the root canal treatment your dentist may recommend a crown be placed on the tooth. A crown completely surrounds the tooth to protect it and prevent fractured forming that may split the tooth