Root Canal Treatment
Root treatment is required when bacteria get into the hollow centre of a tooth where the pulp and nerves are. Bacteria usually get into this space by means of a cavity or part of the tooth fracturing off or by a hairline crack in the tooth. Once the nerve becomes too inflamed or infected the tooth becomes very painful to temperature change and to biting. The usual symptoms are extreme sensitivity or a painful throbbing sensation, which can be made worse with hot foods and is often exacerbated by lying down. The number of root canals in each tooth varies from one to four, as a general rule the further back in the mouth the tooth is the more canals it may have.
The only way to save the tooth and alleviate the discomfort is to clean out the very narrow root canals by enlarging them and applying various disinfectant chemicals. Don’t worry – lots of strong anaesthetic is used to ensure complete anaesthesia of the tooth. The whole process must be done under near sterile conditions. Saliva contains millions of bacteria which like to infect teeth. These bacteria must be prevented from re-entering the inside of the tooth during and after treatment. We use a piece of rubber sheeting to seal around the outside of the tooth during root canal treatment. The final filling or crown will seal the tooth after treatment. Some teeth may require a crown after the root treatment is completed because the tooth may have become very weak after treatment. The crown is required to give the tooth protection from high chewing forces.
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