Helping to Prevent Tooth Loss
Endodontics (also known as root canal treatment), focuses on treating and managing conditions affecting the inside of the tooth in order to prevent the tooth from having to be removed.
Endodontics is usually carried out when the inner layer (pulp) of a tooth becomes inflamed, infected or dies due to severe decay, a deep crack in the tooth, trauma or another dental procedure close to the pulp. Treatment involves a thorough cleaning, removal of the infection and a sealant to help prevent further infections.
At Advent Dental we recognise how vital this type of treatment is for some of our patients and where most dentist will simply pull the tooth, we endeavour to save and treat where possible, allowing patients to keep their teeth and prevent the need for dentures, implants or bridges.
Potential Signs of a Pulp Infection
It can be difficult for patients to correctly identify their symptoms but some common indications of an infection include;
- A sudden and intense, throbbing pain in the tooth or gum
- Gums that are swollen or tender in that region
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
- A tender, discoloured or loose tooth
- A metallic taste in the mouth
- Darkening of a tooth (grey, brown or black), especially if there is a history of trauma.
When the inner part of a tooth becomes infected it can cause it to spread to the root canal system, leading to an abscess. The inflamed areas around the tooth contain pus which causes swelling of the tissue and pain ranging from a mild ache to extremely tender and uncomfortable. In most cases, if treatment is not sought and the necessary root canal not carried out in time, the infection will likely spread, leading to the whole tooth having to be removed.
What Does Root Canal Treatment Involve?
Root canal treatment generally takes place over several visits. All the members of our team are fully trained to perform endodontics and more complex cases will be referred to a specialist endodontist.
During the first stage of treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed before the inside of the tooth is shaped, and cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution to kill germs. This is performed under local anaesthetic so should not hurt, however it will most likely be uncomfortable afterwards.
During the second stage, the root canals are filled with a material to prevent bacteria re-entering and causing infection.
During the third stage, the root canal filling is sealed in place by putting a suitable permanent filling or crown over it depending on which is more suitable. This makes the tooth appear as normal again and allows it to be able to function properly as well.
Every patient is unique, and treatment can be time-consuming so depending on the individual case it may require a number of visits. Not every tooth is the same, some teeth have more roots and can be more complicated to treat.
How to Look After the Tooth After Root Canal Treatment
During and immediately after the treatment, you should not bite on the tooth as it is most fragile and easily damaged at this point. It is also important to brush and floss as normal every day after the appointment, and to avoid too much sugary food to prevent the recurrence of decay.
After root canal treatment, teeth can become brittle and need reinforcement so your dentist is likely to suggest that you complete the process by having a crown placed on the tooth to prevent fracture long-term, especially on back teeth.
Endodontist Specialists in Essex
If you would like to find out more information about our root canal treatment services, then contact us and one of our helpful team will be happy to arrange a consultation for you.