When a tooth has become severely infected and inflamed due to decay or a previous large restoration, the unmistakable pain of a toothache sets in.
Those three words Root – Canal – Treatment, are enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. However, dentists today have evolved superior techniques to eliminate the pain of a toothache – fast and in nearly all cases with little discomfort.
How Root Canals Work
Within the crown of the tooth lies the dental pulp which houses the nerve fibres, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels of the tooth. Root canal treatment aims to completely remove all the infected and inflamed debris within the pulp and associated canals and to ultimately prevent the infection from reoccurring.
Root canal treatment must be performed under a rubber dam. This mask isolates the infected tooth from the rest of the mouth to prevent saliva containing bacteria from further contaminating the tooth. Since 1 ml of saliva contains approximately 1,000,000 bacteria the rubber dam is imperative.
The removal of the debris is performed with nickel-titanium rotary files. These highly effective files are used to clean and shape the canals. Often irrigants are used to flush the debris from the canals. Once the tooth has been completely cleaned out, a rubberised material is placed into the canals of the roots to fill the space.
Failed Stories – Behind the rumours
There are numerous stories floating around of people in the past who have gone to the trouble of having root canal treatment and the tooth had broken not so long afterwards. Often this is because the tooth is extremely heavily broken down prior to requiring root canal treatment and that there is insufficient tooth structure remaining to support the bulk of the filling. For this reason dentists recommend a crown be placed on most teeth that have been root treated.
With today’s highly effective and efficient techniques, those previously fearsome words Root – Canal – Treatment are no longer worth worrying about.
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