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Having a toothache can be a dreadful thing. It’s constantly there, you can’t sleep, and you can’t eat. All you want is for the pain to go away. We can help you. With root canal treatment in our Sutton dental clinic, you can get back to your normal life quickly.
Bacteria that decay your teeth initially start off the process. They feed off the sugars you consume in your diet and they produce acid as a by-product. This acid will erode your teeth and turn the hard structure into a soft goo. The longer you leave it, the deeper it gets.
Once the decay gets into the dentin, which is the layer beneath the enamel coating, you may start having pain. If left unchecked, it will progress towards the root canal system, which is the red internal bit of the tooth shown above.
When the tooth is alive, the root canals function as the tooth’s blood supply. Once the bacteria get into the root canal system, it is very hard to save the tooth. As you cannot clean the internal part of the tooth, the bacteria will multiply and cause an infection within the tooth.
The root canals lose their blood supply and are filled with bacteria. These bacteria multiply and cause inflammation within the enclosed canals. As the enclosed space cannot expand, the pressure builds up, causing pulsating pain.
If the bacteria build up dramatically, some may escape the canals of the tooth and start to drain away. This sometimes leads to a visible abscess or gum boil on the gum at the root of the affected tooth.
The quickest and easiest solution would be to take the tooth out. Once the source of infection is gone, the body should naturally clear away the existing infection from the socket pretty quickly.
The other solution is root canal treatment.
Root canal therapy is all about removing the bacteria within the infected tooth tissue and sealing the tooth to stop re-entry of any bacteria.
The root canal dental procedure involves cleaning out the root canals by flushing it with a lot of strong disinfectant to kill the bacteria. The root canals are then shaped and dried with small paper absorbent files and filled. The cavity in the tooth is restored and a crown is often placed to protect the remaining tooth and to provide a good seal.
The studies show that it can take up to 40 minutes to kill the majority of the bacteria by the disinfectant. That’s why we normally book 1-2 hours for a root canal for an infected tooth, depending on which tooth we are treating. Front teeth generally only have one canal and a 75-minute appointment is generally sufficient to complete the root canal treatment steps. Back teeth can have four canals, so we typically book two hours for these appointments. In some cases, when there is a heavily infected tooth, we can leave medicine within the tooth for a week and complete the treatment over two sessions.
Generally, success rates are over 90 percent, which is considered high. As with any procedure, we cannot guarantee a 100% success rate. The root canal treatment is a complex procedure and the extent of decay, tooth anatomy, access to the site and cracks can all cause failure. If you have a crack in the tooth, it’s impossible to seal and this can lead to failure.
We get asked this question all the time, as some patients report having had bad experiences at their previous dentist. In our experience, once we’re halfway through the procedure, people are usually so relaxed that they fall asleep. It’s a long procedure and not much happens once we open the tooth up – we’re just waiting for the disinfectant to clear away the bacteria. You are completely numbed up, so you should feel very comfortable.
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