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While root canals were once associated with long and painful procedures, we’re pleased to say that this is no longer the case. Thanks to advancements in dental technology and equipment, having a root canal is straight forward and generally pain-free. In fact, with enough anaesthetic, a root canal should feel no more uncomfortable than your average filling.
What is root canal treatment?
The procedure begins with the nerves and infected pulp being removed, before the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. You can expect this process to happen over 1-2 appointments, before our dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment for you to receive a crown on the tooth. The purpose of this crown is to protect the structure of your weakened tooth, as well as to preserve the look and feel of it.
A root canal is required the pulp (soft, living tissue) inside your tooth has become infected. The pulp inside the tooth is where the blood vessels and nerves live, and this area is usually unaffected by small cavities. However in cases where the decay has spread deep into the tooth, or the tooth is cracked or damaged, the pulp can become inflamed and infected. Some patients may require a root canal due to previous trauma to the tooth, which causes the tooth to die out. There is no ‘easier’ option, as the only other treatment available is to remove the tooth and get an implant. Having root canal therapy, on the other hand, allows us to save your natural tooth, preserving the function and aesthetic of your mouth.
Before your root canal procedure, we will anaesthetise the area. More anaesthetic is required than for a routine filling because this treatment directly affects the nerve, so your mouth will go very numb. A rubber sheet isolates the tooth from the rest of your mouth so that the bacteria cannot spread to the rest of your mouth. We will then drill an opening in your tooth to access the pulp. Disinfectant and very fine instruments are used to wash and scrape out the infected tissue and damaged nerves and kill the bacteria.
After this, the canal is sealed with a rubber-like substance. The tooth is then capped with a crown or filling, depending on the level of damage to the tooth. The tooth is still essentially dead, having no healthy living tissue and no blood supply, but a root canal saves the structure of the tooth for appearances and for the sake of your bite.
Root Canal Treatment
Will a root canal hurt?
It is important to us at Aylsham Dental that our patients feel as comfortable as possible. We will not continue with a root canal until we are absolutely sure the anaesthetic has done its job. With enough anaesthetic, a root canal should feel no more uncomfortable than your average filling.
Some people feel no pain at all following a root canal, while others feel a little tenderness for a day afterwards. You can relieve any ache by sleeping with your head elevated and taking the painkillers we advise.
We will discuss everything with you in detail prior to the root canal, so you know what to expect. Whether it has been caught early or is more advanced, we will decide on a personalised course of treatment so that you get the least pain and the best possible results.