Root Canal Treatment

Inside a tooth is a fine space called the root canal.  The root canal contains the dental pulp which consists of nerves and blood vessels.  If the dental pulp becomes diseased or dies a toothache or an abscess may occur.  In the past these problem teeth were extracted but now we can offer you root canal treatment to care for these teeth.

A number of conditions can lead to irreversible damage of the dental pulp.

  • Decay
  • Deep fillings
  • Trauma
  • Tooth fracture
  • Infection

Sometimes there is no apparent cause.

Before starting the treatment we will require an examination with x-rays and special tests to assess the health of the dental pulp and surrounding tissues. Root canal treatment is carried out over several appointments, usually a week apart, to allow medicaments that kill off bacteria within the tooth to take effect between visits.

During treatment, a latex sheet called a rubber dam is placed around the tooth to isolate it from the mouth.  Then, access to the root canals is gained by drilling a hole through the top of the tooth. The root canal is measured for length and then cleaned and shaped with fine dental files. The root canals are also washed with sterilising solution.  The root canals are then sealed near to their tip with a permanent filling.  The tooth is then restored back into useful function.

Teeth requiring root canal treatment often have large fillings or extensive damage and will require a crown to restore them properly following the root canal treatment.  These teeth are also weaker and the added protection of a crown is necessary at the completion of the root canal.