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Root canal treatment

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Root canal treatment can save an infected tooth from being extracted. It involves removing infected pulp from the innermost part of the tooth, leaving the hard outer structure of the tooth behind. Root canal treatment, also called endodontics, prevents the infection from spreading and saves the tooth.

The pulp is made up of soft tissue, including nerves and blood vessels, and extends from the crown to the tips of the root. The pulp can become infected due to decay, a deep filling or trauma to the tooth. Symptoms can include pain, increased sensitivity to temperature, discolouration, a metallic taste, gum tenderness or swelling.

If you think you have an infected tooth, book an appointment with a dentist and we can assess your symptoms and use x-rays to get a look at the internal structure of the tooth.

Why have root canal treatment?

  • Can save an infected tooth from extraction
  • Removes a source of infection that could spread to other areas
  • Prevents further problems that could be caused by losing a tooth
  • Can relieve toothache
  • Less expensive than replacing a lost tooth

What’s involved in the treatment?

Root canal therapy usually requires several appointments, the number will depend on which type of tooth is being treated. Between appointments, the tooth will be covered and temporarily restored.

  • An x-ray will be taken to check the root canals and see if there are any other signs of infection in the surrounding bone.
  • The infected pulp is removed under a local anaesthetic and root canals are flushed with an anti-bacterial solution.
  • The canals are shaped and cleaned with small instruments to remove any debris. Here at Jenkins Dental, we pride ourselves in having a high quality microscope to help with the treatment as root canals are extremely narrow.
  • The cleaned root canals are then filled with a rubber compound to seal the tooth and prevent bacteria from entering.
  • The filled root canal is sealed with a permanent filling and will ideally need a crown to help restore tooth shape and functionality.

Looking after a treated tooth

If looked after properly, with regular brushing and flossing, 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. However, teeth can become reinfected and therefore regular check-ups are also recommended so any problems can be detected early.

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