Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that is performed to treat a tooth that has become infected or damaged. The procedure involves removing the infected or damaged tissue from the inside of the tooth, which is called the pulp, and then cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth to prevent further infection.
Diagnosis and planning: The Endodontist will examine the tooth and take an X-ray or a 3D scan to determine the extent of the damage and the location of the infected pulp.
Local anaesthesia: A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area around the tooth to minimise discomfort during the procedure.
Accessing the pulp: The dentist creates an opening in the top of the tooth to access the infected pulp.
Cleaning and shaping the root canals: The dentist will utilise specialised tools and equipment to eliminate the infected pulp from the tooth's root canals and shape them during the process of cleaning.
Filling the root canals: After the canals have been cleaned and shaped, they will be filled with a rubber-like substance known as gutta-percha, which effectively seals the canals and prevents bacteria from penetrating the tooth. The treatment can be done over 1 or 2 visits or sometimes it can be 2-3 weeks in between depending upon how the tooth presents after the first visit.
Restoring the tooth: Depending on the extent of the damage, the tooth may need to be restored with a filling or a crown to protect it from further damage.
Follow-up care: After the procedure, the dentist will provide instructions for taking care of the tooth and may schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor the healing process.
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a procedure that is performed to remove infected or damaged tissue from the inside of a tooth. The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around the tooth, so you should not feel any pain during the treatment.
However, it is common for patients to experience some discomfort or sensitivity in the affected tooth for a few days after the procedure. Your dentist or endodontist may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, to help manage any pain or discomfort during this time.
It is important to note that delaying or avoiding root canal treatment due to fear of pain can lead to more significant pain and complications in the future, such as tooth loss or the need for more invasive procedures. So, if you are experiencing tooth pain or other symptoms, it is important to see a dentist or endodontist as soon as possible to determine if root canal treatment is necessary.
The following symptoms may indicate the need for a root canal:
Persistent or severe toothache: This may be a sign that the nerve or pulp inside the tooth is infected or damaged.
Sensitivity to hot and cold: If you experience sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures that lingers for an extended period, it may be a sign of an infection or inflammation in the pulp.
Swollen or tender gums: The area around the tooth may become swollen, tender, or even develop a small bump called a gum boil.
Discoloration of the tooth: If the affected tooth appears darkened or discolored, it may be a sign that the nerve tissue is damaged.
Pain when biting or chewing: Pain that occurs when biting or chewing may be due to an infected or inflamed pulp.
It is essential to visit a dentist if you experience any of these symptoms, as they may indicate the need for a root canal or other dental treatment.
The duration of a root canal procedure can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the specific tooth involved. On average, a root canal procedure can take between 60 to 90 minutes to complete, but it can take longer for teeth with multiple canals or for cases where there is a severe infection.
You can find out about our fees here.
After a root canal procedure, it is generally recommended that you wait until the numbness in your mouth wears off before eating. This can take a few hours, depending on the type of anaesthesia used.
Once the numbness wears off, you can usually eat and drink as you normally would, but it's important to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the root canal was performed until the tooth is fully restored. You should also avoid hard or crunchy foods that could potentially damage the temporary filling or crown.