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Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatment (also known as endodontic treatment) is a dental procedure that replaces a tooth’s damaged or infected pulp with a filling. The pulp consists of specialised dental cells, blood vessels, tissue fibres and some nerve fibres located in the hollow space of the central part of the tooth.

Root canal treatment is an option given to our patients due to disease or damage to dental pulp caused by deep decay, trauma, or a crack or a leaking filling. A diseased or damaged tooth pulp may cause inflammation or infection. The symptoms include spontaneous pain, pain when biting or chewing, extreme or prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold, swelling of the gum or oozing of pus surrounding the affected tooth and facial swelling.

The root canal treatment is carefully treatment planned by your Wishart Family Dental dentist and where there is considerable loss of the tooth structure, the need for a crown will also be discussed prior to the commencement of the root canal therapy. In cases where there has been extensive damaged to the tooth structure, a post may be required to aid in the retention of the crown. Depending on the complexity of the root canals in your tooth, you may be referred to an Endodontist, specialists in root canal treatment for the treatment.

Generally, two visits are required to complete the root canal treatment, depending on the extent of the infection and your current oral health. The first visit consists of removing decays and thoroughly cleaning and shaping the root canals in order to eliminate bacteria, pus and debris. A local anesthetic is usually administered for your comfort and a latex sheet called rubber dam is placed around the tooth being treated, in order to prevent contamination of the root canals. Once the root canals are cleaned, disinfected and reshaped, the second visit consists of filling the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-based material called ‘gutta-percha.’

After your tooth has been successfully treated, a permanent restoration, such as a crown can be placed by your Wishart Family Dental dentist. The treated tooth should last as long as the other teeth in your mouth, provided the tooth is kept clean and that you maintain excellent oral hygiene.

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