Relieve pain and save a tooth with root canal treatment. Root canal treatment is a dental procedure used to save a damaged tooth from extraction, and to stop the pain caused by infected root canals. If the soft tissue is dead (non-vital) inside the tooth this tissue is removed and the root canal is cleaned and shaped. Non-vital nerve tissue does nothing apart from helping to spread infection into the rest of your mouth and body and cause you pain. If the infection is removed, the success rate is high. Once this is done special filler is placed in the cavity to prevent bacteria from re-entering the space in your tooth. If the nerve tissue is vital (not dead) it may be possible to save a damaged tooth without a complete root canal therapy using new repair cements that are well accepted by soft tissue and the nerve although damaged, may be allowed to heal. Every case is different and some complex root canal therapies may be best treated by a dental specialist, an endodontist. Why keep a dead tooth? A dead (non-vital) tooth when treated correctly with precision may function usefully for many years, with a success rate equivalent to a dental implant. Removal of a tooth results in shrinkage of the bone (resorption) and gum that was present around the tooth. Keeping a tooth helps to prevent this resorption. Dental implants only partially prevent this process. Retaining the root or part of a root can be the best prevention of bone resorption. The root canal treatment process A root canal treatment has four steps and can sometimes be carried out in one visit. X-rays The first step is an x-ray taken of your teeth. The x-ray will show the extent of infection; and whether or not there is infection is surrounding bone. The Smile Pros use small low dose digital x-rays. Anaesthetic will be administered. Even though dead nerve cannot feel pain, it can make treatment easier for you if the area is numbed. Cleaning out the root canal A little time will be given for the anaesthetic to take effect. Then a rubber dam will be used around the tooth to keep saliva away from the treatment area. Then the decayed nerve, pulp, bacteria and debris are removed using rotary endodontics with an inbuilt electronic apex locator by Morita (Tri Auto ZX2). When this is all removed, your Smile Pro dentist will wash out the canals with a special cleaning and disinfecting agent. Anaesthetic can last up to two hours, depending on how much was used. The treatment should not take this long. Sealing the root canal The extent of infection can determine how the root canal is sealed. Sometimes it’s a prudent step to use a temporary filling and then monitor the health of your teeth for a week or so before placing the permanent root canal filling. And in other cases, it is fine to place the permanent sealant the same appointment your tooth is cleaned out. Final restoration The final step of root canal treatment is to add a restoration to the tooth. This is usually in the form of a bonded resin, onlay or dental crown which is placed to protect the newly treated tooth. Root canal treatment by The Smile Pros in Mermaid Waters, Gold Coast Removing infected tooth pulp will alleviate the pain it causes. With the added restorative protection of a dental crown this tooth can continue to function as a normal tooth. If you would like to know more about root canal treatment, or to request an appointment, please contact us today. Don’t forget to share this via Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn.