Basic Info About Root Canal Treatment

Also known as endodontics,root canal treatment involves the removal of the nerve (pulp) from teeth that have been injured through damage from decay or trauma.
Some teeth lose their nerve supply slowly following such damage, and many people are unaware that there is a problem with the tooth.This is normally picked up following the results of an x-ray taken because the tooth has changed colour or become darker.Other teeth undergo nerve death quickly which can result in an abscess with pain, swelling and a discharge of pus (infected and dead cells).
If the nerve or pulp becomes infected, even if this infection does not spread,there is growing evidence to support the fact that pockets of infection like this can have an adverse effect on the health of your heart and lungs.Removal of the infection by root canal treatment is known in many cases to be an effective remedy,however it does not work in all cases,and some teeth may still need removal to alleviate the problems.
Where possible your dentist will try to save your teeth,but sometimes the best option is to remove the tooth (extract) and replace it if necessary with a range of options including a denture,bridge or implant.Teeth that have been heavily infected for a long time are less likely to respond well to the treatment.Also where the nerve channel (canal) is small, or where decay has destroyed a lot of the tooth,or where the tooth is difficult to access,these may all mean that the chances of success are reduced and the best option would then be to extract the tooth.Specialist endodontists working with special instruments and high magnification can sometimes save these difficult teeth.
The procedure is normally carried out under local anaesthetic (unless the nerve is obviously dead), and the root canal(s) are cleaned out using special files.The dentist will protect your mouth and throat from these very small instruments.Some dentists use a rubber dam (a rubber sheet held on a frame and fastened to your tooth/teeth with a special clamp) where as others fasten safety devices to the files themselves to prevent swallowing or inhaling of these instruments.Root canal treatment is a higly skilled procedure and takes time to achieve.Not every case is successful and will depend on many factors.Other complications include broken files and also perforation of the roots by the files or drills used.These complications are more likely to occur with very small and difficult to access canals.The dentist will also be using certain materials to wash out and disinfect the inside of the tooth ,including a low concentration of bleach.If this is used, the dentist will protect your clothes from accidental splashing.

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