Have you had a dental infection and need to have a root canal? Do you have reservations?
At Apple Dental Studio, our dentist in Pinner has performed multiple root canals and knows all there is to know about this restorative (and cosmetic!) procedure which prevents tooth loss.
Here, our dentist in Pinner provides a quick guide to the root canal procedure.
Why would you need a root canal?
Root canals are usually performed by our dentist in Pinner to restore a tooth that has become infected. They are the choice of treatment from our team if the tooth is not too decayed and can be saved.
There may be instances where due to blunt force trauma, a root canal may be needed to rebuild the tooth and prevent an infection from occurring at a later date. Should you suffer from extreme dental sensitivity that has failed to respond to other treatments, we may opt for a root canal as a last resort.
What does the procedure involve?
The standard process for a root canal involves our team drilling a small hole from the top of your tooth down into the roots and will be performed under a local anaesthetic so you won’t feel a thing. This will allow us to get access to the pulp and thus the source of the infection.
Once we have reached it, we will gently scrape out the infection and any decay, and clean the root and the tooth with a sterilising liquid.
Should there only be a small amount of decay, we may be able to complete this procedure with a simple filling, but this is rarely the case. With most root canals, we have to pack the hole left by the drilling with a latex derivative called gutta-percha. This prevents any further infections from occurring and ensures that the tooth is restored to its former strength, it has been essentially drilled hollow after all!
Once the root canal has been fitted, your tooth and the surrounding area are likely to feel bruised, especially if you are still recovering from the abscess.
Even if it seems that the initial infection has cleared, to be on the safe side, we will usually advise you to continue the course of your antibiotics until the infection is completely cleared.
As the tooth is likely to be a bit sensitive, it may be best to temporarily switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and to eat softer foods for a few days after the root canal. This will help the tissues to heal and will give your tooth a break from chewing hard things!
Provided that your root canal was performed correctly, it should last the rest of your life without any recurrence of the infection or any discomfort.
It is highly unlikely that the tooth that has had the root canal will be weakened by the procedure but, if you suspect an issue with any of your teeth, please come and see our team.
In the very rare event that the root canal fails and the infection returns, we will perform the procedure again and, if necessary, we will refer you to an endodontic specialist to ensure that the treatment lasts.
Remember, you will need to see our team every 6 months for dental check-ups following a root canal, so we can check that the tooth remains intact, that there is no sign of decay and that there is no issue with the surrounding gum line.