Your Step by Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is necessary to treat severe tooth decay in which the tooth has become infected or abscessed and the decay has progressed from the enamel to the dentin layer, eventually reaching the nerve structure of the tooth (also called the pulp). The nerve structure of the tooth begins to die, which leads to an infection at the tip of the root, causing pain and swelling. A root canal treatment, performed by a qualified dentist, is the only way to treat the severely infected tooth without removing it. In this week’s blog, we tell you exactly what to expect during a root canal treatment.
The first step of a root canal treatment is preparation of the mouth and tooth. First the tooth and surrounding tissues will be numbed with anaesthesia to prevent pain and discomfort throughout the procedure. Once the area is numb, your dentist may also place a dental dam (a small sheet of rubber used to isolate the affected tooth) over the tooth to keep it clean and dry throughout the procedure.
Next, your dentist will drill a small hole through either the biting surface (if the tooth is a back tooth) or through the rear surface (if it’s a front tooth). Through this hole, your dentist will have access to the root canals and pulp on the inside of the tooth. They will use small files to clear away the infected and/or dead pulp tissue. Once the tissue has been removed, your dentist will shape the walls of the root canals so that they can be properly filled, and the chamber may be irrigated with water to remove any remaining tissue. Your dentist may also apply an antimicrobial solution to the chamber to kill any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk of further infection.
Once the chamber has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, your dentist will fill it with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. The access hole will also be sealed with a temporary filling.
After a few weeks, you will complete the treatment by having a permanent crown attached to your tooth, acting as a permanent seal. The crown will protect your tooth against further infection and will restore the appearance of the tooth.
Root canal treatment seems like a scary procedure, but with a careful and patient dentist and adequate pain medication, you will recover in no time at all. Eden Rise Dental offer root canal treatments, along with other emergency dental services from our Berwick dental practice.