A tooth can become inflamed or infected for various reasons (deep decay, trauma, inadequate restoration…) leading to pain, abscess, bone loss and other complications.
A root canal treatment involves removing the infected inner soft tissues and sealing the canals in order to eliminate the infection before restoring the tooth.
Do I need a root canal treatment?
A variety or symptoms can point to the potential need for a root canal treatment. These include:
- toothache, either acute and sudden, or low key and constant
- increased sensitivity to temperature (hot in particular)
- discolouration of the tooth
- swollen, tender gums
- a metallic taste in the mouth.
However, symptoms can be hardly noticeable. You can have a chronic root infection without any symptoms. At The Dental Chambers Kensington, we always try to avoid root canal treatments. Teeth which have had a root canal treatment tend to be more “brittle” and require more complex and costly restorations. However, it can’t always be avoided: you might have a deep decay which has reached the pulp of your tooth, or even an infection which could spread beyond the roots of the tooth and the supporting bone.
The dental pulp can become infected through a number of reasons, such as:
- Dental decay
- Extensive restorative work
- Damage through trauma
- Excessive wear of the tooth enamel
- Severe gum disease
What’s involved in having root canal treatment?
Radiographs are essential in establishing what is wrong. In some cases, we also perform a 3D scan for a more accurate picture of your tooth and surrounding tissues.
Root canal treatment involves removing the tissues from the pulp (nerve), then cleaning, disinfecting and filling the canals. If an infected pulp is left untreated, it can eventually cause damage to the surrounding bone, resulting in potential tooth loss.
Appointments for root canal treatments tend to be quite lengthy; they start with a local anaesthetic, to numb the whole area. The canals are then shaped and disinfected and finally sealed.
At The Dental Chambers, we use Nickel Titanium Rotary instruments instead of the more traditional hand instruments. Made from flexible metal, they allow us to achieve a more predictable treatment of the canals and therefore a better long lasting result.
Once the root canal treatment is completed, you will have to come back for a permanent restoration of the tooth; there may be several options, depending on how weakened your tooth is, and these will be discussed in detail with your dentist.
Once fully restored, your root canal treated tooth should stay trouble-free and provide a long lasting repair. Even though the pulp has been removed, the tooth will stay intact because the canals have been sealed to prevent re-infection. Regular check-ups are also recommended so any problems can be detected early.