So how do you know if you need root canal treatment, and what will it involve?
Root canal treatment is necessary when decay has reached the nerve or inner nerve of the tooth. The procedure involves removing the pulp (called the nerve) from within the tooth and then sealing the cavity. The pulp lies in the tooth centre within a thin canal extending from the crown of the tooth through to the tip of the root.
Sometimes the pulp of the tooth will die without causing any noticeable pain. You may become aware that root canal treatment is required when you are experiencing the following:
- The tooth becomes painful, tender to bite on.
- Sensitivity to heat and cold.
- A large visible cavity, which extends into the nerve of the tooth, or suddenly becomes dark in colour.
- Facial swelling.
Common Causes of Pulp Damage in Teeth
The most common cause of pulp damage is deep tooth decay which allows bacteria to reach into the pulp. The pulp may then become inflamed or infected.
Products of infection may then spread through the opening at the tip of the root into the surrounding bone – an abscess could result and this may cause pain and swelling. However, not all abscesses cause pain or swelling.
Other causes of pulp damage include:
- Traumatic blows to teeth
- Loose fillings
- Excessive wear of teeth
- Cracked teeth
What is Endodontic Treatment?
During endodontic treatment, the infected or damaged pulp is removed from the inside (i.e. root canal) of the tooth via the small access hole. Access is gained into the tooth, removing decay and allowing for endodontic treatment to be commenced.
- The root canals are then cleaned, disinfected and shaped to a form that can be completely sealed
- The next stage is to seal (fill) the root canal with a filling material to prevent re-infection.
Is there an alternative treatment?
There is really no perfect substitute for your own tooth. It is far more efficient in chewing and biting than an artificial tooth. Endodontic treatment is a perfectly safe routine procedure undertaken to save your tooth.
If your teeth are causing you pain and bother don’t put it off any longer. Prompt treatment will save your teeth, and vastly improve your quality of life.
Coburg Dental Group are the proud providers of the very best dental services in North Melbourne and beyond. To make an appointment or for any enquiries, contact us today.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.