Root canal treatment

If you have been experiencing severe tooth pain, it is possible that you may require root canal treatment. If your tooth has become damaged or cracked, you have tooth decay, large fillings or have recently had a trauma to the tooth, the chance of a root canal procedure increases, as these scenarios all leave your tooth open to infection. We provide root canal treatment in Edinburgh.

What is root canal treatment?

When bacteria find there way into the centre of the tooth (because of decay, leaking filling, tooth fracture or trauma etc.) an inflammatory reaction occurs which can result in toothache and ultimately an abscess. Sometimes no pain is experienced and the nerve dies quietly resulting in a slowly progressing infection.

At any stage root canal treatment can be carried out to prevent spread of infection and in order to save the tooth. As the cause of the problem is bacterial infection, successful root canal treatment is effective disinfection of the inside of the tooth. The tooth is isolated under a rubber dam and after the inside of the tooth is accessed it is soaked in a disinfectant. Small nickel titanium and stainless steel instruments are used to gently clean and shape the inside of the tooth down to the tip of the roots, allowing disinfectant to work effectively. Dr. Tait and Dr. Philpott both use the latest surgical microscope in order to be able to see inside the tooth and work to a degree of accuracy that was not previously possible. Once completed, a plastic filling material is used to fill the root canal space and prevent reinfection.

After the final visit with either Dr. Tait or Dr. Philpott, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.

Five signs of infection:

  1. Serious toothache when eating, or when you put pressure on the tooth. Does it hurt when you bite down hard?
  2. Excessively sensitive teeth. Does the sensitive pain linger after the initial contact with hot or cold foods or drinks?
  3. Darkening of your tooth. Has your tooth changed colour? This may be a sign of the nerve dying.  
  4. A small bump on the gum, close to the painful tooth.
  5. Tender or swollen gums around the tooth.

Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment after endodontic treatment?

You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible. Otherwise, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings.

Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth. In a few cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or the pain continues. Occasionally, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, redoing the endodontic procedure can save the tooth.

What causes an endodontically treated tooth to need additional treatment?

New trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked or broken filling can cause new infection in your tooth. In some cases, additional or very narrow or curved canals are located that could not be treated during the initial procedure.

How do I avoid a root canal?

Root canal treatment can be avoided by practicing good dental care. Regular visits to your Edinburgh practice for check ups mean that your dentist is in a good position to pick up on any problems you may not have noticed. They will check any current fillings or crowns for damage or cracks. By treating issues in the early stages you avoid infections and further complications that would ultimately lead to endodontic treatment.

Tooth decay is one of the common reasons for root canal infections. You can keep tooth decay at bay by brushing and flossing regularly, chewing sugar-free gum between meals and reducing the amount of fizzy drinks and sugar in your diet.  

If you are experiencing tooth pain, contact Edinburgh Dental Specialists on 0131 647 0703 today to see if you require root canal treatment.

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