Ask any dental team, and they will tell you that one of the most disliked of all general dental procedures is the root canal, also known as endodontics. The reasons behind this are fairly straightforward. Many people have heard rumours or read online articles that contain misinformation, such as root canals can heighten discomfort and even cause worse issues than those they were designed to treat.
But is this truly the case? Of course not! Root canals have saved thousands of teeth since their introduction to dentistry over a hundred years ago, and in this article, we hope to convert those who are concerned about an upcoming root canal into people who understand that this is a worthwhile procedure.
At Dentist on Glasgow, our general dentist for Wanganui New Zealand has performed many root canals and can attest to how these simple procedures can not only save teeth but also improve the general health of someone's smile while keeping the aesthetics unchanged. Great!
But what exactly is involved in the standard treatment of a root canal? Here, our general dentist for Whanganui New Zealand intends to offer a simplistic breakdown, so you can know what to expect if you need this procedure.
The first step is usually an unpleasant one and typically involves either a dental abscess or damage to a tooth. For this, our general dentist Whanganui New Zealand will perform an x-ray. This will show the size and depth of the issue and will help to determine whether a root canal is a viable option. In general, if the tooth is in good condition overall, this procedure is preferred. If the tooth has succumbed to extensive decay, then it is likely that we will opt for extraction.
The procedure itself is relatively straightforward. We numb the area with a local anaesthetic and then begin drilling down into the tooth to reach the pulp; this is a rather delicate procedure, and depending on the number of roots that your tooth has, it can take up to an hour. We then use a set of specialised cleaning tools to remove the infected debris from inside the tooth. Once clear, we fill the tooth with a substance known as gutta-percha to prevent any further bacteria from getting access at a later date. The root canal is then topped with either a filling or crown and the procedure is completed.
The aftercare is also relatively straightforward. The area may feel sensitive for a few days but aside from that, you should not notice any other symptoms. If you do, you need to contact our team. It is also advised that if you are planning to whiten your teeth that you wait for at least 2 months after having a root canal before undertaking this.
With correct aftercare and dental check-ups, a root canal can easily last the rest of your life without issue. That being said, if you do notice any sensitivity, then you need to see our team as soon as possible.
The best way to prevent root canals from being needed is to maintain the best oral hygiene that you can. Brushing twice a day, flossing and attending biannual check-ups will prevent decay and will reduce the likelihood of a root canal being needed.
All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.