What is a Root Canal?
The term “root canal” is directly linked to the process of cleaning the canals inside the tooth’s root. The ultimate goal of a root canal is to save a tooth that is severely infected, rather than disposing of it completely. This dental procedure will remove the dead or dying nerve tissue and bacteria from inside a tooth so that you can preserve the tooth and reduce the risk of removal.
With modern technology helping root canal treatments to be a painless and smooth treatment, the ‘painful’ stigma that surrounds root canals can be put to bed. More often than not, root canals will take up to two trips to your Cranbourne dentist; it’s easy!
What are the Symptoms of a Root Canal?
- Severe and persistent toothache
- Swelling in your face or cheek
- Foul-smelling and foul-tasting breath
- Swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck
- Sensitivity when chewing
- Pain in your jawbone, neck or ear
Often the common cause of needing a root canal is a cracked tooth, a deep cavity or a tooth that has undergone repeated dental treatment.
What is the Root Canal Procedure?
- The dentist at Broad Oak Medical and Dental Centre will insert a numbing gel (anaesthetic) around the bad tooth – it’s common to feel a slight prick as the needle is inserted.
- When your tooth has become numb, your dentist will use a very tiny drill to remove a small portion of the top of the tooth and expose the pulp¹.
- The infected pulp is removed with a set of instruments called files.
- The canals (pathways that run through teeth) are cleaned with disinfecting solution to remove bacteria and any remaining parts of the pulp. Medicine may be applied to the area here, to prevent further infection.
- Now the tooth is clean, it may be filled and closed. Often this will be with a temporary filling until your next appointment when you receive the permanent crown.
¹.Pulp is essentially the nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue of the tooth. It supplies blood to the tooth whilst it is also the reason you feel sensations such as temperature on your teeth.
How to take care of a Root Canal?
With care and attention, a tooth that has undergone a root canal can remain healthy for the rest of your life. Ensure you are visiting your dental clinic in Cranbourne every six months, brushing twice-a-day with a deep clean toothpaste that fights germs, flossing once-a-day and avoiding chewing on hard foods that can cause teeth to break.