If a tooth is badly infected, your dentist may recommend that a root canal treatment is performed as an alternative to removing the tooth altogether. Serious infections are when the pulp inside a tooth has become infected with bacteria, resulting from an untreated cavity, injury or a crack in the tooth.
Generally speaking, where possible a root canal is preferable to tooth extraction as it allows the natural tooth to stay in place. Unfortunately in some cases the tooth may be too damaged to save and therefore it will be necessary to have a tooth extraction followed by a dental implant to replace it.
Despite the infamy surrounding root canals, they are a safe and common procedure, and a relatively painless way of treating an infected tooth.
Getting A Root Canal Treatment
The McIntosh Dental team are experienced root canal dentists so we understand how to perform the procedures effectively, efficiently and safely. As with all dental procedures, pain management is an important part of the treatment for root canal procedures. Before we begin your root canal procedure, we will apply anaesthetic to the teeth, gums and surrounding skin to numb the entire area. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we have different options for helping you to stay calm during the appointment, such as Drift Away Anxiety Management and Sleep Dentistry. Your wellbeing is just as important to us as achieving a great result, so we will help you to choose an option that will keep you as comfortable as possible.
During a root canal, our Dentist will remove bacteria and the damaged nerve and pulp from inside the tooth. Once all of the damaged and infected material has been removed, the chamber will be thoroughly cleaned and dried to reduce the risk of any further infection occurring. The next step is to fill the tooth chamber and seal it. In some cases, a crown may be necessary for the top of the tooth, so a temporary filling will be applied until the permanent crown is ready. The permanent dental crown will then be fitted at a subsequent appointment.
Your mouth is likely to stay numb for a couple of hours following your appointment, so for your safety eating is not recommended until the numbness has worn off. You may experience some sensitivity or mild pain around the area but this should not last longer than a few days. Part of your post-treatment care may include to avoid biting on hard foods until the permanent crown is in place.
As with all dental hygiene problems, having good oral health routines is essential. Regular dental examinations, dental hygiene appointments, and great brushing and flossing techniques are all important in helping to prevent tooth decay from turning into major dental issues.