Root Canal Therapy
Contrary to general perception, root canal therapy is a painless procedure that saves your own natural teeth.
The space inside the tooth is known as the pulp chamber. It contains the tooth nerve and blood vessels which keep a tooth vital and healthy. These travel down the length of the root to the tip (or apex) in a tiny canal called a root canal. Human teeth may have one to four root canals, depending on the anatomy of the tooth.
Common reasons for a tooth needing root canal therapy:
- A tooththat has developed decay which it penetrates through the enamel and dentin into the pulp/nerve chamber which causes toothache.
- A tooth that has become abscessed (infected) due to decay penetrating into the pulp.
- Trauma: a tooth is bumped which results in a chipped or broken tooth which exposes the nerve.
- A tooth can also be bumped without breaking, but the nerve and blood vessels entering the tooth at the apex, is damaged. This causes the tooth to die slowly and form an abscess. These teeth often change colour and can become brown or even black.
- A tooth that has a crack running through it causing it to be sensitive to biting pressure and temperature changes especially to hot and cold drinks.
We, as your dentist will begin your appointment by giving you a local anaesthetic to completely “numb” the tooth that is being worked on. A small hole will be drilled into the tooth that allows us to remove the nerve from the tooth and sterilizing the canal before sealing it with a special gutta percha material and sealant. The hole in the tooth will be filled with a temporary filling material. During the procedure, we will take x-rays from time-to-time to verify the length of the canals and to confirm the quality of the final root filling. You then need to return to us for another treatment appointment during which the tooth will be re- built and strengthened and then shaped into the correct shape to receive a crown. An impression of this shaped tooth will be made with a special and accurate rubber-based material. The impression will be sent to a laboratory so that the technician can manufacture a permanent crown. A temporary crown will be crafted and fitted by us before you leave which will cover the tooth and thereby bridge the period of time until your permanent crown can be placed on your tooth about a week later.
This is an x-ray of a lower molar tooth that has been perfectly root filled and crowned
Please give us a call today to help you with your root canal requirements.