What is Root Canal Therapy?
There is a great deal of confusion around root canal therapy and for a lot of people they have heard terrible tales of how painful it is. So, here is some careful explanation to dispel some of the myths.
Inside a tooth is a nerve and blood supply. If the nerve is damaged or becomes infected a number of things could happen:
- the patient would usually experience considerable pain
- the infection may spread into the surrounding bone and cause an abscess and bone loss
- the infection could spread into the adjacent tissues of the face resulting in swelling and potentially very serious infection.
Root canal therapy is used to save the tooth which has a dead nerve or has irreversible nerve degeneration. This treatment is for teeth that are essentially still strong and useful, but the nerve (pulp) is degenerating. In the short period that the nerve is dying, the pain can be intense and unbearable. But in the ‘chronic stage’, the discomfort can be almost negligible. But damage is still being done inside the bone around the tooth.
What’s involved with root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy involves cleaning out all of the nerve and blood supply tissues of a tooth and sealing up the space so that it stays bacteria free. This procedure is done with local anaesthetic and usually takes 3 visits. Modern instruments and materials have made it a greatly simplified dental procedure these days.
What to expect following root canal therapy
Following root canal therapy, a tooth will dry out and become quite brittle so it is important to consider the restorative options, like putting a crown on the tooth to prevent tooth fracture in the future. So feel free to discuss these options with your dentist before choosing to go ahead with treatment. Root treated teeth that are not well restored afterwards can often fracture and still be lost, which is obviously a great loss for the patient.
Considerations for root canal therapy
If a tooth requiring root canal treatment is left untreated, the following conditions may happen:
- widespread gum infections
- loss of jaw bone
- facial swelling, may result
- loss of the tooth
Contact us today to make an appointment.