What is root canal treatment and what can you expect?

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, you might be wondering what the cause is. Do you need a filling? Have you developed an abscess? Or is there something else going on? Luckily, a trip to the dentist can arm you with the information you need to treat the problem quickly and effectively.

After your dentist has given your teeth a good inspection, you may be told that you need a root canal filling. But what are root canals, and what can you expect when you have one done?

Root canal fillings – what they are

Root canals, also known as endodontic therapy, are carried out when the pulp or nerve inside your tooth becomes infected. This is usually down to a hole in your tooth that has spiralled out of control, dental decay or a cracked or broken tooth. Your dentist will need to clean out the tooth by using a small drill to remove the nerve and pulp and seal it back up to prevent any further damage.

What will happen at your root canal appointment

After you have seen your dentist and he or she has recommended you have a root canal filling done, you will normally attend the appointment on another day, if the case is not an emergency.

When you arrive, your dentist will examine your teeth and take some x-rays, ready to ensure they work on the correct tooth and to check for any other problems. They will then use local anaesthetic to numb the area near the tooth to make sure you can’t feel anything and that you’re more relaxed.

Then, to keep the area free from saliva, your dentist will put a rubber dam around the tooth. A small hole will then be drilled into the tooth and the pulp and bacteria will be removed from the tooth until it is completely cleaned out.

When the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed. However, depending on circumstances and whether the tooth is severely infected, it is sometimes necessary to wait a week or so before sealing the tooth. If the tooth is badly infected, for example, your dentist may need to pop a medication inside the tooth to ensure it has gone before being sealed. If this is the case, a temporary filling will be put into the hole to keep bacteria and food out and you will return to have the hole filled permanently.

You may experience some discomfort for a day or two after the procedure, though the recovery time is generally very quick. Taking over the counter painkillers can help reduce pain and inflammation.

If you’re suffering from tooth pain or think you might need a filling or root canal filling, our expert dentists will be able to help. Call us to book in today on: 01732 865021. We also offer an emergency dental service, making sure your oral health is a top priority at all times.

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This page was last updated on the 21st of October 2017