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What is a Root Canal?

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal procedures are carried out when an infection is detected in the center of the tooth where the fibrous pulp is found. An infection can make its way into the tooth through decay, trauma and cracked fillings. Infections can cause the pulp to die and so it is necessary to treat the problem before bacteria spread becomes too severe. A dentist will normally be able to detect infection through an x-ray of the tooth. Infection is usually characterised by pain, a loose tooth, swelling, pus and darkening of the tooth.

In order to treat an infection of the root canal the bacteria will need to be eradicated, or in the worst cases the tooth removed.

Root canal treatment has received a bad reputation over the years for causing both pain and discomfort in the dental chair. We are pleased to say that this is no longer the case. Technological advances have allowed us far greater control over pain relief which has been developed to ensure minimal discomfort during root canal procedures. Many people are surprised when they finish treatment with us that their experience is so far removed from the traditional stereotype of pain and drills.

Root canal procedure begins with ensuring optimum levels of local anaesthesia to ensure there is no pain. Then the dentist, using a rubber dam to keep the tooth dry, will open the tooth up by removing the crown in order to access the root. They will then remove any infected pulp and enlarge the root canal before filling it in. Sometimes a tooth might have more than one root and so the procedure will take longer. If the procedure is likely to take place over a few sessions the dentist will fill the tooth with a temporary root filling and medicine to kill the remaining bacteria.

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