Root canal treatment is used to treat abscessed teeth and inflamed pulp tissue, and often constitutes the only alternative to extraction. Dental decay, trauma, gum disease and even dental restorations can cause this inflammation of the pulp inside the tooth and this results in it gradually dying, leading to pain and eventually abscess formation.
How it is carried out
Root canal treatment involves removing the dying tissue and the nerves of the tooth that cause the pain. It can take up to 2-3 visits to complete and is successful in 80% of cases.
The procedure involves cutting a cavity to enter the pulp of the tooth. Small files are then introduced into the root canal and this space is gradually widened and cleaned at the same time. After six months, the canals are monitored, often with x-rays, to confirm success. In cases where the tooth was heavily broken down (at the start of treatment), a crown may be required to form a protective covering and prevent further breakdown.
Will the procedure cause any pain?
Root fillings are carried out under local anaesthetic and should not normally be uncomfortable. The tooth may be tender to biting on the day of treatment and for up to a week postoperatively, but painkillers should be sufficient to alleviate the symptoms. It should be noted that this procedure is highly skilled and takes time to achieve a good result. This unfortunately occasionally requires patients to open their mouths for a considerable length of time, depending on the number of canals to be filled.
At the Weston Aesthetic Dental Centre we are fortunate enough to have a specialist in the field of endodontics, Dr Noushand Rahim. Originally from India, Dr Rahim has spoken globally on the subject of endodontics, and worked as a clinical lecturer at Ajman University in the United Arab Emirates.