A guide to root canals from our specialist dentist
In dental care, there are many new treatments available to prevent the occurrence of decay and to even put missing teeth back into the mouth using options like dental implants.
But in many cases, the older techniques have stood the test of time, and if you should ever be unfortunate enough to suffer from a dental abscess, it is likely that you will be advised to undergo a root canal.
But before you panic, please read on!
At Yealmpton, our specialist dentist Devon has helped many patients to revive their smiles using root canals and knows this treatment option inside and out. When you come to us, we will always aim to make it as comfortable for you as possible.
If you are like most dental patients, the idea of having a root canal fills you with something akin to dread but don't worry. Our specialist dentist Devon provides the following guide for you so you can learn more about this unfairly disliked procedure.
What is a root canal?
As briefly mentioned earlier, root canals have been in dental care for over 100 years, but they do require a specialist dentist Devon to perform them.
In essence, they involve the removal of infected material from the pulp of the tooth using quite a fiddly process which aims to restore the strength of the tooth and prolong its life. Another advantage that root canals offer is that they do not require the removal of the tooth, so if the tooth that needs the treatment is located at the front of the mouth, you will not suffer from a gap in your teeth.
Performing a root canal involves our team numbing the gum with a local anaesthetic and then drilling down through the tooth to reach the pulp. This hole is called the canal and depending on the tooth that it has been performed on, we may need to widen it using specialist dental files.
Then we will begin removing the infected material from the tooth which may, or may not require us to remove the pulp. Don't worry; if the pulp is removed from your tooth, the tooth will not change colour and it will not technically be dead and you should be able to regain function of it.
When the infected material is removed, we will be filling the tooth canal again with a substance called gutta-percha which acts as a barrier between the external environment of the mouth and the pulp. The canal is then topped with either a filling or a crown and the treatment is complete.
Afterwards, there is likely to be a feeling of sensitivity with the tooth and it may even feel slightly bruised for a few days; this is completely normal, but if you suspect that the treatment has not worked or that the abscess is coming back, then you need to contact our team urgently for an assessment.
In most cases, dental abscesses occur because of extensive decay which has reached the root of the tooth. This is preventable by maintaining good oral hygiene at home and attending dental check-ups with our team.