REASONS FOR ROOT CANAL

Root canal, or endodontic treatment, is required when tooth decay has penetrated to the sensitive dental pulp inside the tooth. The aim is to save the tooth from extraction by cleaning out the infected root.

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The procedure has a reputation for being unpleasant, but the truth is that modern endodontic treatment is now considered as routine as getting a filling! The past few years have seen incredible advances in technology, and all dentists use equipment and techniques that eliminate discomfort. If you need a root canal in Canterbury, you can rest assured you’ll be in safe hands at A1 Dental.

PROCEDURE

  • The root canal procedure is complex and can take a few hours, over more than one visit.
  • After your local anaesthetic is administered, the dentist isolates your tooth with a rubber dam. This stops saliva touching the tooth during treatment and enables you to swallow comfortably.
  • The dentist drills through the tooth to make a hole, and uses a special tool to widen the passage. A suction tool removes all the infected pulp.
  • The space left behind by the pulp is then filled with gutta percha, a rubbery substance that maintains the tooth’s strength and structure, and seals against future infection.
  • A permanent filling or crown will need to be added at a later date.
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FAQs

Why would I need root canal treatment?

The causes of tooth infection are varied – deep decay due to cavities or gum disease, cracked fillings or crowns, damage as a result of trauma or even teeth grinding. Whatever the reason, a root canal treatment will prevent the need for tooth extraction and future costly treatments.

What are the symptoms?

Root canal symptoms often come in two waves. When the pulp becomes infected, early signs that you might need endodontic treatment include toothache, sensitive teeth to hot and cold foods, and pain when eating and drinking. When the infected pulp dies, these symptoms may temporarily subside – but don’t be tempted to put off seeing your dentist! When the infection spreads to the root canal, those early symptoms come back – this time accompanied by pain and swelling to the face and gums, and pus around the infected tooth, which will often appear dark in colour. In this scenario, contact us immediately for an emergency dentist appointment.

Will I need to take time off work for a root canal?

You can carry on as normal once the anaesthetic has worn off, though the full healing period will take around a week – just be careful with what you eat, how you chew and maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine.

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