Frequently referred to as endodontic treatment, this dental procedure is focused on addressing infections within the innermost part of the tooth, known as the pulp. The tooth structure comprises three layers – the outermost and hardest layer is the enamel, followed by the softer dentine that provides support to the enamel and constitutes the bulk of the tooth. The innermost layer, situated at the core of the tooth, is the pulp, a soft tissue consisting of blood vessels and nerves. When an infection penetrates the pulp, necessitating intervention, root canal treatment becomes essential.
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the infected pulp tissue, meticulous cleaning of the pulp chamber and root canals, and ultimately, filling and sealing the canals. At 121 Dental Practice in New Malden, our skilled dental professionals are adept at performing root canal treatments with precision and care. By addressing infections at their source, this procedure not only alleviates pain but also helps preserve the natural tooth structure for a healthier and enduring smile.
The primary trigger for the need for root canal treatment is often advanced decay. However, various other factors can contribute to this dental procedure, including broken or fractured teeth, the presence of very large fillings, secondary decay beneath loose fillings, or repeated fillings in the same tooth. In rare instances, severe periodontal or gum infections may also lead to the infection of the pulp, necessitating root canal intervention. At 121 Dental Practice in New Malden, our experienced dental team evaluates the unique circumstances of each patient to determine the most effective approach for root canal treatment, addressing the underlying causes and restoring optimal oral health.
During the assessment for root canal treatment, your dentist at 121 Dental Practice in New Malden will typically take an x-ray of your tooth. This x-ray provides a detailed view of the tooth's anatomy, enabling the dentist to evaluate the extent of the infection and its spread. Subsequently, your dentist will engage in a thorough discussion with you, explaining the identified problem, detailing the root canal procedure, and addressing potential complications. Additionally, alternative treatment options will be presented.
This transparent communication ensures that you are fully informed about the recommended treatment plan, allowing you to make an educated decision about proceeding with the root canal treatment. At 121 Dental Practice, patient understanding and involvement in the decision-making process are prioritized to ensure a comfortable and informed dental experience.
The duration of root canal treatment can vary, with some cases being completed in a single sitting. However, more commonly, it takes 2-3 visits to successfully complete the treatment. The number of visits depends on factors such as the complexity of the case, the extent of the infection, and the overall response of the tooth to the treatment. At 121 Dental Practice in New Malden, our experienced dental professionals tailor the treatment plan to each patient's specific needs, ensuring thorough and effective root canal therapy.
During the root canal treatment at 121 Dental Practice in New Malden, your dentist will administer a numbing injection to completely block pain in the area. Subsequently, a hole is made in the top of your tooth to gain access to the root canals. The dead or infected pulp tissue is removed, and the canals are thoroughly cleansed. Depending on the extent of the infection, a medicament may be applied. Typically, at the first visit, these steps are completed, and a temporary filling is placed to seal the tooth until the next visit.
On the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the root canals are filled with gutta-percha, a putty-like material. The hole in the tooth is then filled with a permanent filling material. It's important to note that a root canal-treated tooth is more brittle than an untreated tooth. Therefore, your dentist will advise you on placing a cap or crown to protect the tooth from potential traumatic fractures. In certain cases, a dentist may need to insert a metal rod or screw into the root canal to provide additional support for the crown.
If the infection in the tooth hasn't caused significant complications, your dentist may complete the entire root canal treatment in a single sitting. The treatment approach is tailored to each patient's specific needs for optimal results.
Root canal treatment involves an injection of local anesthesia, which may cause a slight amount of discomfort. However, once the anesthesia takes effect, the rest of the procedure is pain-free. After the treatment is completed, there may be some soreness, but the acute pain and discomfort experienced before the procedure will be relieved.
Typically, over-the-counter painkillers are effective in reducing post-operative discomfort. This discomfort usually subsides rapidly within 24-48 hours. It's important to note that any lingering or severe pain should be promptly reported to your dentist for further evaluation and appropriate management. At 121 Dental Practice in New Malden, our team prioritizes patient comfort throughout the entire root canal treatment process, providing necessary support and guidance for a smooth recovery.
With proper care, an endodontically treated tooth can last a lifetime, boasting a success rate of approximately 90%. Yet, in cases where expected healing doesn't occur, additional measures such as retreatment or a minor surgical procedure known as apicectomy may be required. Although rare, in some instances, tooth removal might be necessary. At 121 Dental Practice in New Malden, we prioritize comprehensive care to maximize the success and longevity of endodontic treatments, offering tailored solutions based on individual needs. Regular follow-ups and adherence to post-treatment guidelines contribute to sustained oral health.
We recommend you to brush your teeth twice daily and make sure you visit your dentist regularly. The dentist will want to assess the root canal treated tooth after a year and then on a regular basis thereafter.
The alternative to endodontic treatment is tooth extraction. However, saving the tooth is highly recommended. Tooth removal creates a gap in the mouth, leading to functional and aesthetic issues that may require a replacement, such as a denture, bridge, or implant. Each of these substitutes comes with varying costs, making it essential to consider the long-term benefits of preserving the natural tooth through proper care and endodontic treatment. At 121 Dental Practice in New Malden, our focus is on providing personalized solutions to save teeth and mitigate the need for extensive replacements.