Root canal is a sequence of treatments for the nerve of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future infection.
Endodontic therapy involves the removal of the nerve tissue and blood vessels. Cleaning, and decontamination of the teeth using tiny files and filling of the decontaminated canals.
When to proceed with a Root Canal?
You may require a root canal treatment if you are suffering with any of these signs or symptoms:
- Sensitivity to hot & cold food or drink?
- Throbbing ache, pain when chewing, pain that wakes you up at night?
- Abscess (gumboil), a large deep cavity in your tooth?
This may mean that you require a root canal treatment.
What to expect during the procedure
Root canal treatment is done over two or three appointments of one hour each. After the root canal, the tooth will require a crown leaving insufficient tooth structure remaining to restore the tooth with a filling. If a crown is not placed on the tooth it is a high risk to fracture.
During the root canal treatment you should not experience any pain as the tooth will be numb. The tooth will be isolated from the rest of the mouth using rubber dam (a green rubbery sheet). Small files will be used to clean and shape the root canal. Root canal treatment is a very accurate and technical procedure.
Multiple x-rays will be taken during the appointment and between appointments a temporary filling will be placed in the tooth.
Occasionally a root canal treatment can be done over three appointments if the tooth is very symptomatic and infection is still present. An antibiotic script will be given in most instances.
What to expect after the procedure
After the first appointment, the tooth might be slightly tender but the symptoms will settle down. Most patients experience a lot of relief from the tooth ache they initially experience.
Pain killers such as Myprodol, Mybulen, Genpain etc. can be used if necessary.
After a root canal, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anaesthetic wears off.