Root Canal Treatment
This involves removing the pulp (called the nerve) from within the tooth and then sealing the cavity. The pulp lies in the tooth centre within a thin canal extending from the crown of the tooth through to the tip of the root.
Root canal treatment may be required when the tooth becomes painful, tender to bite on, is particularly sensitive to heat and cold, or may have an obvious large cavity, which extends into the nerve of the tooth, or suddenly becomes dark in colour. Sometimes the pulp of the tooth will die without causing any noticeable pain. Other times the face may become swollen.
- Under a local anaesthic, the remains of the nerve are cleaned through a small hole in the crown of the tooth.
- Thin files are used, together with cleaning solutions and medications are placed inside the canal.
- X –rays are taken, to help diagnose the necessary treatment, determine the length of the tooth and monitor treatment.
- Finally a sealant is placed and bonded in the canal.
Upon completion of root canal treatment a final covering must be placed on the crown of the tooth. This is necessary because all root filled teeth become more fragile, brittle and normally darken. You may choose either a porcelain or gold crown for your tooth. The crown fits around and protects the tooth from splitting. A white composite filling may be used but you run a very high risk of tooth fracture in the future. Often a titanium or zirconium post is placed inside the tooth to reinforce the tooth.