Root Canal Treatment A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. It involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. A root canal treatment is a commonly known but often misunderstood procedure. Contrary to popular belief, these treatments aren't painful — in fact, they often stop a toothache. More importantly, a “root canal” can give a tooth on the verge of loss another lease on life. Still, if you've never experienced a root canal treatment before, you probably have questions. Australian Dental Health NSW is giving answers to a few of the most common questions.
Root Canal Treatment Why do they call it a “root canal”? This is the popular shorthand term for a procedure that removes diseased tissue from a decay-infected pulp, the innermost part of a tooth and the actual root canals themselves. Root canals are the narrow, hollow channels that run from the tip of the root to the pulp and are also involved in the procedure. Why do I need one? Once infected, the pulp's bundles of blood vessels, nerves and other tissues become diseased. This often results in a painful toothache that can also suddenly disappear once the nerves within the pulp die. But there's still a problem: If we don't clean out the diseased and dead pulp tissue, the infection could spread through the root canals to the bone and endanger the tooth's survival. What happens during the procedure? After deadening the tooth and surrounding gums with local anaesthesia, we enter the pulp through an access hole we create. Using special instruments we remove the diseased tissue and shape the root canals to seal them with a filling material called gutta-percha.
Root Canal Treatment Sealing the access hole is then necessary to prevent re-infection. Later we'll cap the tooth with a porcelain crown to restore its appearance and add further protection against fracture or cracking of the tooth. Who can perform a root canal treatment? In many cases a general dentist can perform the procedure. There are some complex situations, however, that require a root canal specialist with additional training, expertise and equipment to handle these more difficult cases. If your tooth is just such a case it's more than likely your general dentist will refer you to an endodontist to make sure you get the right kind of care to save it.
Root Canal Treatment • Advantages of saving the natural tooth with RCT: • Efficient chewing • Normal biting force and sensation • Natural appearance • Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain. • Root Canal treatment step by step: • A Deep Infection • Root canal treatment is needed if tooth is infected due to any injury or a large cavity. • A Route to the Root • The dentist gives anaesthesia, if needed. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth to the pulp chamber.
Root Canal Treatment Root Canal treatment step by step: Removing the infected/inflamed tissue Special files are used to clean infection and unhealthy pulp out of canals. Irrigation is used to help clean the canals and remove debris. Filling the canals The canals are filled with permanent material. This helps to keep the canals free of infection and contamination. Rebuilding the tooth A temporary filling material placed on top of the gutta-percha to seal the opening. The filling remains until the tooth receives a permanent filling and/or a crown.
Root Canal Treatment Root Canal treatment step by step: Extra Support In some cases a post is placed into the root next to the gutta-percha. This gives the crown more support. The crowning touch The crown is cemented into place which looks like a natural tooth. It is placed over the top of the crown.
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