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Dr David Clarke & Dr Matthew Clarke are eager to work with you to create a customized treatment plan which best suits your individual needs and optimises your dental health. Should you have a concern with your teeth, gums or dental appearance please contact us today so we can work with you to assess the best options available to you. Below is a short overview of some of the treatment which we can provide.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is where the nerve within a tooth is removed, cleaned and filled, usually because of infection of the nerve with bacteria. Patients who have deep decay in their teeth, deep fillings or cracks are at risk of having the nerve within the tooth infected with bacteria, this usually leads to toothache which is often (and unfortunately) is the first sign of issue with the tooth, which is why regular check-ups are important! Once the nerve is infected the body has a very limited ability to fight off this infection and it usually causes a great deal of pain. If your tooth has been quite painful and aching or throbbing, you should consult with us to see what may be required.
What Are Some Signs I May Need Root Canal Treatment?
- Aching/throbbing pain which is unprovoked or when provoked by cold lasts for minutes or more. Often this pain leaves patients unable to sleep.
- Pain on biting, usually combined with other symptoms
- You know you have deep decay or a deep filling in the suspect tooth.
- Pain to heat, such as tea/coffee, which lasts for more than 10 secs.
- Recent trauma to the affected tooth. These teeth may discolour in the days or weeks after the incident
If you suspect you have a toothache or need a root please consult with us.
Is Root Canal Painful?!
The Root Canal Treatment is pain free, we will anaesthetise the tooth and surrounding areas before we do any treatment on the tooth. People often associate Root Canal Treatment with pain because the infection that causes the toothache can indeed be very painful. Root Canal Treatment to a tooth actually brings great relief to those symptoms, our patients are always glad once the initial phase of a Root Canal has been completed because they can get back to their day-to-day life, they have often been in such pain that they cannot sleep, eat or work! We wont start working on your tooth until we are sure that we have it totally anaesthetised.
What is involved in a Root Canal?
Root Canal Treatment is an involved and technical exercise, it can involve anywhere from 1-3 visits depending on your presentation and the condition of the tooth.
Firstly we we complete what is called an open and drain where under anaesthetic we expose the nerve and remove the bulk of nerve tissue and any infection present, we also remove any old fillings or decay present. We place an antibacterial and sedadtive medication into the canals of the teeth and then place a temporary filling over the top of the tooth. This resolves the patients symptoms and prepares us for the next two stages of the Root Canal.
The next stage, called instrumentation, is where the fine and technical work of thoroughly cleaning the Root Canals is done. First we ascertain how many canals are present in the tooth. We then use a number of methods to measure the length of those canals and confirm this with an X-Ray, this is to ensure we are cleaning the total extent of the Root Canal System. Once the lengths of the canals are confirmed we use a rotary file system which spirals down the canals and cleans and shapes the walls of root canals, killing and removing bacteria in concert with antibacterial agents we use during this process.
Once the canal is cleaned we leave an antibacterial paste in the canal until the next treatment.
The final stage is to fill or obturate the canals, this involves placing a rubber filling material into the canals called gutta percha. This filling material is warmed to soften the outer layers so that it flows into all the areas of the canal. We then place a tooth coloured filling over this to seal the canals from bacteria in the mouth. Once this is complete the tooth is in a stable state, however Root Canal leads to an increased risk of fracture due to removal of the blood/nerve supply to the tooth, as such it is recommended that within 12 months of Root Canal a crown is placed around the tooth to greatly reduce the risk of these fractures.
This above information is designed only to be generally informative and does not constitute professional advice. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek an opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner, about the risks and benefits to you and your particular situation of any proposed treatment.