What is a root canal?

xraysRoot canal therapy is the procedure that we use to treat an infection that has developed in the middle of a tooth in an area called the root canal.

This area of dentistry is more technically referred to as ‘endodontics.’

If you have developed an infection in your tooth due to the presence of bacteria in your mouth that has spread to a tooth, often the only way to save it is through the use of root canal therapy.

The infection could have started due to tooth decay; a leaky filling allowing bacteria to enter the sensitive dental pulp, or damage that may have been inflicted on your tooth due to a trauma.


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Extraction? Or root canal to save the tooth?

There are various components to a tooth but it is basically composed of two parts. The most visible is the crown and the second invisible part is the root that anchors the tooth into the jawbone.

There are a number of layers that in turn can be affected by bacteria, the enamel which is the top layer, the inner softer dentine that is the main part of the tooth and cementum is the harder material that forms a layer on the surface of the root. In the centre of the tooth there is found the dental pulp which makes up the root canal and stretches from the tooth’s crown to the tip of the root.

The pulp is rich in blood vessels and nerves and if bacteria are able to invade the area an infection may develop. Until something is done to clear the area of bacteria there is no way of stopping the infection.

Tooth extraction is the simplest method of relieving the pain and discomfort but it is preferred to try to save it by eliminating the bacteria from the root canal through root canal therapy.


How we carry out a root canal procedure

Three appointments usually need to be made to complete the treatment. The first two appointments are to clean the root canal area and to ensure that any infection and bacteria have been eliminated. At the final appointment the root canal is filled and a filling or crown is used to seal the tooth.

Usually any inflamed tissue will heal on its own accord. A local anaesthetic is commonly administered to relieve any likelihood of pain.

We find with most of our patients root canal treatment is normally successful and teeth treated in this way can last for at least 10 years.


Don’t put up with that tooth pain any longer

If you think that you need root canal therapy, arrange an appointment with Quarry Park Dental who will assess the health of your teeth and recommend a suitable treatment program for you.


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