A lot of people still wince when they hear the phrase ‘root canal’ – but rest assured that today’s root canal treatments (endodontics) are nothing to fear. Certainly for members of the older generation, unpleasant root canal treatments may remain in distant living memory – but 21st-century endodontics couldn’t be more different. Sophisiticated anaesthetic and high-tech instrumentation combine to make root canal treatment in Langley as routine an experience as getting a filling.
A root canal treatment is required when tooth decay penetrates into the dental pulp – a mass of nerve endings deep inside the tooth. A root canal treatment involves opening up the tooth in order to remove the infected pulp; filling the cavity; and (usually) rebuilding the weakened tooth with a dental restoration. Root canals have an extremely high success rate.
If you experience sudden pain when biting or chewing; sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks; discolouration of the tooth or swelling of the gum around the tooth – chances are you may need a root canal procedure. Even if the symptoms subside, don’t hesitate to visit the dentist – sometimes the pain goes away temporarily as the dental pulp dies off, only to return more aggressively as the infection moves deeper, sometimes causing an abcess.
A root canal procedure is always carried out under a local anaesthetic, or in some cases, conscious sedation – so it will always be a pain-free experience. After isolating your tooth with a rubber sheet, or dam, the dentist will open up the tooth with a very precise dental drill. Dental pulp is removed with suction, and a benign material called gutta percha is used to fill the cavity. Patients often remark at the instant relief from pain that a root canal procedure provides. If you require a dental restoration, this may need to be carried out at a later stage and a temporary fitting supplied in the mean time.
Before and after an endodontic procedure