If you have been referred for root treatment or root canal therapy by your dentist or are just inquisitive about this treatment, you may find the following information interesting:
Why do you need this treatment?
You may have knocked your tooth
You may have fractured/cracked your tooth
You may have a large cavity in your tooth which has progressed into or close to your nerve
You may have recently changed a filling in your tooth
You may have recently had a crown placed on your tooth
Your dentist has advised root filling for a number of reasons
What is a root filling?
When you smile you only show part of your tooth, the crown, the rest of the tooth is anchored in your jaw under the gum by a root or roots. Within the roots are nerves which are nourished by a blood supply. If the blood supply is compromised or the nerve is traumatised and/or infected, the nerve will die. The nerve sometimes dies slowly and sometimes abruptly. You may experience mild to excruciating pain, hot or cold or biting sensitivities. Some people may develop an abscess which causes a swelling in their face.
The root canal procedure involves numbing the tooth with a local anaesthetic as is done when having a routine dental filling. Following good anaesthesia, the procedure is carried out totally painlessly. A plastic barrier is put on the tooth for your comfort and safety: 90 – 95% of patients prefer the dentist using this barrier. The nerve is totally and painlessly cleaned out of the root canal within the root. The root canal is washed and dried and a plastic root filling is squashed tightly in the canal to ensure a successful result. The use of sophisticated instruments like digital x-rays, stereomicroscope and ultrasonics are used to ensure an accurate result is obtained. The tooth will then either be closed with a temporary filling or a permanent core filling. Sometimes a post will be bonded into the tooth to help retain the core filling. You will then be referred back to your dentist for a permanent restoration.