A second chance for your tooth
Sometimes teeth don’t behave as we want, and the nerve of the tooth can become compromised and infected.
There are a number of reasons that can cause this including deep decay, large fillings close to the nerve, cracks in teeth, trauma and extensive gum disease. In some cases this can lead to an uncomfortable toothache as the pressure builds up within the nerve space of the tooth. If the infection is left long enough, it can also spread outside of the root space into the adjacent bone and cause it to be painful when subjecting the tooth to pressure.
Root Canal Procedure
Root canals can be divided into 2 or 3 stages. 1st involves accessing the nerve space and removing the infected nerve and draining any pus that exists – a dressing can then be placed into the nerve space to calm things down. This stage will typically get you out of pain. 2nd stage involves preparing the nerve space to accommodate the final root filling. The last stage involves placing the root final filling and re-building the crown portion of the tooth. All these procedures typically take between 45 minutes – 1 hour, and are done under local anaesthetic so are generally comfortable for you.
When done correctly, root canal treatment can be both a pleasant experience and a long-term solution. The longer infections are allowed to dwell in teeth and spread to the adjacent bone there is an increased likelihood of developing more resistant bacteria that is resistant to root canal therapy. Therefore, we generally advise starting root canals relatively quickly as soon as definitive signs and symptoms develop. In some cases, we may advice the placement of a crown following root canal treatment. This is mainly because root filled teeth often become more brittle over time and typically have a lot of tooth structure missing (as a result of large fillings or extensive decay, etc) – this increases the chance of the tooth fracturing. Crowns can provide these teeth with more support.