The two words that many dental patients dread hearing: root canal.
Among the most feared and infamous of dental treatments, it’s understandable if you feel some anxiety ahead of a root canal procedure.
However, contrary to popular belief, a root canal is a pain-relieving surgery. A quick intervention by your dentist will prevent further pain and complications along the line. Modern root canal procedures provide an excellent way of saving an infected tooth that, in the past, would have had to be extracted.
Turriff Dental Care prides itself on creating a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for our patients. If you are particularly anxious about your procedure, please let us know, and we will endeavour to make your visit as pleasant as possible.
Root canal treatment (also called endodontics, meaning 'inside the tooth') is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury. This can be for several reasons, including an accidental break or poor oral hygiene. In a healthy tooth, the pulp sustains the surrounding material, providing it with moisture.
A 'root canal' is not the treatment itself but the hollow part of a tooth containing blood vessels, cells, and this pulp. If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth.
This may eventually lead to an abscess, serious medical complications, and your dentist needing to remove the tooth. Extraction is not ideal as it is healthy to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible. Seeking treatment quickly allows you to save the tooth.
If a tooth's pulp is infected, it cannot heal by itself. The infection needs to be removed by a medical professional and the root then needs to be cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection or damage.
Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to your dentist.
Although this procedure has a particularly bad reputation, root canal treatment should be relatively painless when carried out by a dental professional. It is important to note that most of the pain is coming from the infection itself, and by removing the infection, you are resolving the pain.
A local anaesthetic is used to numb the tooth and the surrounding area during the procedure. Tenderness or pain after root canal treatment is standard, and over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, are recommended to help relieve it. Prescription painkillers are also available for extreme cases.
Generally speaking, the procedure takes around 30 to 60 minutes to complete. If you have concerns about how long your treatment might take, contact your dentist, and they will be able to answer any questions for you.
In the past, treated teeth would often darken after treatment. However, with modern techniques, this is no longer the case. After a root canal treatment, we can do everything possible to ensure your teeth remain as they were, so you can continue smiling with confidence.
It is crucial that you act sooner rather than later if you need root canal treatment. Call us today and book an appointment.