Preserving A Tooth With Root Canal Treatment
Avoiding tooth extraction at your local Streatham dentist.
Extracting a tooth is always the last resort at the Confidental Clinic and our aim is to preserve as much of the natural tooth as we can. Sometimes this is not possible, and should we need to extract, then we can discuss our range of replacement tooth options with you.
Whilst preventative care is the best method of preventing damage and decay that may lead to tooth loss, when an infection occurs in the root canals of a tooth, the only alternative to extraction is to have root canal treatment.
Infected root canals
The root canals of a tooth are the part that is embedded into the jawbone. They contain soft pulp which includes tiny blood vessels, along with the nerves that give your teeth their feeling. As you can imagine, if this area of the tooth becomes infected, the nerves can cause quite severe toothache and dental abscesses can develop. Aside from any pain, leaving a tooth in this condition can lead to a spread of the infection into the jawbone and consequently the problem must be treated or the tooth extracted.
Root canal treatment
Despite the reputation that the root canal procedure appears to have gained over time, it should cause no more discomfort than many other invasive dental procedures. The most likely cause of severe pain; an abscess; will be checked for using an x-ray prior to the procedure, and, if found, will be treated and the procedure delayed until this has successfully been done. One the tooth is abscess free, you will be given a local anaesthetic to maximise your comfort during the procedure. When this has taken effect, the dentist, or endodontist, will remove the top section of the infected tooth which allows access to the infected root canals.
The infected soft pulp, including nerves and blood vessels will then be removed from the canals and a thorough clean will take place to ensure that all bacteria have been removed. The hollow canals are then filled with a special filling, known as gutta percha, and finally, in nearly all cases, a dental crown will be added to the treated tooth. This provides both a natural appearance and additional strength.
A root canal filled tooth should be sufficiently strong for everyday use. Care should be taken as, because there are no nerves in the tooth, it can be difficult to gauge how hard you are biting and using this tooth to bite on very hard objects could cause it to fracture. Although the tooth is actually dead, you should continue to brush and floss around it in the same way that you do your natural healthy teeth.
If you experience any dental pain, however minor, we strongly advise that you contact the Confidental Clinic in Streatham as soon as you can so that one of our experienced dentists can examine your teeth and provide treatment where necessary. You can call our receptionists for an appointment on 020 8674 2052.