March 3, 2017

What Is Endodontics and How Can It Save Your Tooth?

Dental Design

Endodontics or root canal treatment, as it is more commonly known, can be extremely effective in saving badly infected or painful teeth. Root canal treatment will help eliminate the infection, allowing your tooth to be fully restored so you can eat and speak in comfort. We know people are often concerned a toothache will mean their tooth needs to be removed, but endodontics can be a very effective and predictable solution to save a tooth.

Tooth Extraction Is Always Our Last Option

If you do have a tooth infection, you can rest assured that we will want to try everything possible to save it. Tooth extraction, in most cases, is always the last and least preferable option. This is because your natural teeth are perfectly designed to allow you to talk and eat properly.

Losing teeth due to tooth infection can negatively impact your remaining teeth as the remaining teeth may drift into spaces available and may take more strain from chewing forces. Unfortunately, when a tooth becomes very badly infected, a dental abscess may form.

By this stage, you may develop facial swelling and a pimple may form on the gum as the infection builds up. A very bad tooth infection can make you feel quite unwell and can potentially be dangerous to your general health. When the infection has progressed this far, you may have to remove the tooth to let the abscess drain. This may then lead to a more extensive solution, such as dental implants.

When Would I Need Endodontics?

A tooth can become infected if the tough outer layers of dental enamel and dentine have become damaged. This might be due to decay, having a leaky filling or crown, or where a tooth has become chipped or cracked.

Any damage will let bacteria into the tooth where they can penetrate the very central part of the tooth called the pulp chamber which contains the tooth nerves. One of the first signs of a tooth infection is noticing your tooth might have become more sensitive to hot and cold or that it is painful whenever you bite down. Sometimes the gum area around the tooth may become red or swollen. If you suspect you might have an infection it is advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible.

There is a far better chance that we will be able to save your tooth the sooner we can provide treatment, and of course this will relieve any pain and discomfort.

What Happens During Root Canal Treatment?

The purpose of endodontics or root canal treatment is to remove the infected and diseased nerve within the pulp chamber and root canals of a tooth. To do this, our endodontist (dentist who has undertaken further training in root canal treatment) will create a small opening in the central part of your tooth to access the pulp chamber before carefully removing all the infected tissue using specially shaped files. Next, the empty pulp chamber is disinfected and sealed. A temporary filling is placed until the tooth is permanently restored, usually a few weeks after treatment.

After endodontics, a tooth is normally restored with a dental crown that will protect the tooth from fracture, reduce leakage to prevent reinfection while restoring the overall shape and strength of the tooth so you will be able to chew in complete comfort. Often a tooth that has become infected will be badly broken down or may already have a large filling, so it needs the extra protection provided by a crown. If the tooth was already covered up with a dental crown, it may be possible to repair the existing crown with a filling.

If you have a nagging sensation something is wrong with a tooth, or if you have had toothache for a few days, please book a check-up with us here at One The Gallery. We can soon assess your tooth for any signs of infection and will provide the most suitable treatment to hopefully save and restore it.Book online or call us on 01865 256007.