Avoiding Extractions With Root Canal Treatment At Blue Sky Dental in Chelmsford
When a tooth is infected, root therapy could save it….
At Blue Sky Dental, it is always our aim to avoid the need for teeth extraction wherever possible. Sometimes, when a tooth has become very badly decayed or damaged, there may be no other realistic option, and a partial denture or dental implant may be needed to replace the extracted tooth.
Where a tooth has become infected in the root canals, there is a good chance that it can be preserved using root canal treatment. Although this procedure has a somewhat undeserved reputation for being painful, it is nowhere near as bad as you might imagine and it is often a very successful way of preserving the natural tooth, when infected. Of course this is much preferred to extraction!
First of all, we would like to assure our Chelmsford patients that what you may have heard about root canal treatment is unlikely to be true. Where its reputation came from, nobody seems to know for sure. There is a strong likelihood that, prior to x-rays being routinely taken before the treatment, patients that had an abscess caused by the infection found the procedure to be very painful. This is not surprising, but this is no longer the case.
Before root canal treatment is performed, the endodontist (a specialist root canal dentist) at our Chelmsford practice will x-ray the tooth. This will show any abscesses that are present and if any are found, your treatment will be postponed and the abscess treated, often with antibiotics.
Once the tooth is abscess free, the treatment can begin and should cause no more discomfort than most other invasive dental procedures.
Root canal procedure
A local anaesthetic will be administered to enable the procedure to go ahead with minimal discomfort, and, once this has taken effect, the top of the tooth will be removed, which then gives the dentist access to the infected root canals.
This part of the tooth, contains nerves and tiny blood vessels, and, when infected, these need to be removed, leaving a hollow canal in the tooth. This is cleaned to ensure that no bacterial traces remain. As leaving the canals in this state would weaken the tooth, they are then filled using a special filling for this procedure, known as gutta percha. Finally, in order to both strengthen the tooth and give it a natural appearance, a dental crown is added to the top of the tooth.
Taking care of your treated tooth
Having saved your natural tooth, it is important to take good care of it. Even though the tooth is now effectively “dead” due to removal of the nerves and pulp, it still needs regular dental care. You should continue to brush the tooth in the normal manner, also taking care to floss between the teeth in order to prevent gum disease.
Care should be taken when biting on hard objects too. Although the tooth should be sufficiently strong for everyday use, the lack of nerves means that it is possible to bite down harder than intended, which could cause it to fracture. So a little extra caution is worthwhile.
At Blue Sky Dental, we like our patients to be as fully informed about their dental treatments as possible, and we hope that this blog explains the root canal procedure sufficiently. Our dental team are always on hand to discuss this, or any other treatment, with you should you find it useful. Simply call our Chelmsford dental practice on 01245 211070 to arrange a consultation or to seek more advice.