Root Canal Treatment at Oldmachar Dental Care

Root canal treatment is required when there is an infection present in the canal system of the tooth. This infection can lead to inflammation and cause a dental abscess, which can be very painful. An abscess is an accumulation of pus and can cause swelling of the tissues around the tooth. If the infection and/or abscess is left untreated, the infection can spread resulting in the tooth needing to be extracted. A root canal is carried out to save the tooth.

What does root canal involve?

A root treatment is when the dentist removes the infection from the tooth’s root canal. The treatment is carried out over two appointments.

The first step in the procedure is to take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in any surrounding bone. In some cases, the x-ray might reveal you need to be referred to a specialist endodontist for your treatment.

Before the dentist starts work, anaesthetic will be used to numb the nerves around the tooth. The dentist will first use a numbing gel, so you don’t feel the injection. Next, to keep the area dry and free of saliva during treatment, your dentist will place a rubber dam around the tooth. This is a thin piece of rubber that goes over your mouth and around the teeth where the dentist will be working.

An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth. The dentist will then clean out and prepare the root canals of the teeth down into the roots by removing the nerve and other tissues (called the pulp) from inside the tooth and its root(s). The cleaning out process is accomplished by using special little root canal files. A series of these files of increasing diameter are each subsequently placed into the access hole and used to clean the sides of the root canals. Sodium hypochlorite or EDTA is used periodically to flush away the debris. The nurse will be on hand with the suction, to take away any excess water or saliva during treatment.

Next, medication may be placed inside the tooth to help clear the infection. To give this time to take effect, the dentist will then temporarily seal the tooth, to prevent any food or bacteria entering the tooth in between your next appointment. To seal the tooth a temporary filling is placed in the access hole, and the tooth is left to settle, usually for 14 days.