Root Canal Treatment

An infection developing in the root canal can be very painful. If this happens then you may need Root Canal Surgery. This is quite a common procedure with a high success rate. At Holistic Dental, we will be able to advise you on whether you need to undergo a Root Canal procedure. There are many misconceptions regarding Root Canal Therapy. As a result, many people unnecessarily fear Root Canal Treatments. There is absolutely no need to fear Root Canal treatment as the surgery is simple, relatively painless and common.

Root Canals are often seen as a better alternative to tooth extraction as it is usually better to have as much of your natural teeth as possible.

Unfortunately, antibiotics cannot be used to treat Root Canal infections. This is because in order to reach the infection antibiotics must go through the bloodstream. Since the bacteria that cause the infection are located within the root canal system this is not possible. Root canal therapy does not fall under the category of emergency dentistry and therefore will not be treated as such.

Procedure Involved During a Root Canal Treatment

Every tooth consists of three different layers. The outermost and hardest layer is enamel, and the second layer is dentin. The third is pulp, which is the cavernous space where the live tissue and nerve of each tooth is located.

If for any reason the pulp space is exposed to the outside, the tissue becomes contaminated and eventually infected. The exposure of pulp happens in many circumstances, such as when you have a large cavity or a fractured tooth. Your dentist can explain the exact reason for damage to this tissue. In these cases, the treatment is usually root canal treatment.

The main objective of the surgery is to remove bacteria so that it cannot continue to spread and cause further damage to the teeth.

If it is decided by your dentist that the best way to do this is to simply clean the bacteria out of the Root Canal System (Root Canal Treatment) then your dentist will start by removing bacteria from the root canal system. This is done by opening the tooth through the crown (the flat top of part of the tooth) and removing any infected pulp.

After this is done, the root canal will be filled and sealed with a filling or a crown. Your dentist will need to use files to enlarge the canal so that it can easily be filled. This may have to be done over several dental appointments. You can expect any swelling that this causes to heal naturally over time.

Usually, the operation is carried out using local anaesthetic. This will reduce the pain that you experience. If the pulp is completely dead then you may not need any anaesthetic.

What Happens After a Root Canal Procedure?

After your Root Canal Surgery appointments you may feel some pain. Usually painkillers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can be used to help you manage this. However, if the pain persists then you should speak to your dentist for further advice.

Hygiene After Root Canal Therapy

Ensuring that you attend all your dental appointments is essential to looking after your teeth after Root Canal Treatment. It is also strongly advisable that you avoid chewing hard foods after the treatment until your teeth recover as this may be painful.

It is important for everyone to maintain good oral hygiene. However, it is even more important that those who have had Root Canal Treatment spend extra time looking after their teeth. There are certain things that you can do to look after your teeth after Root Canal treatment, which include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time
  • Using toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Use a clean brush that allows you to reach all your teeth.
  • Use a pea-sized amount of tooth paste
  • Flossing to remove plaque between teeth
  • Applying the right level of pressure when brushing teeth – brushing too hard can damage the gums