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©2019 by Vincentia Dental Care. Created by Simply Connecting

Photography of our practice and staff by Red Berry Photography

OUR SERVICES

ROOT CANAL

Please note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. We always discuss these with you before conducting any procedures.

The core of the tooth is a hollow chamber housing a bundle of blood vessels and nerve fibres (dental pulp) which nourish the tooth structure.

 

Depending on the tooth type, the number of roots ranges from one to four, or sometimes more. Some are spread apart and some are fused together. The blood vessels and nerve fibres enter from the tip of each root and join together in a space inside the crown, where all the roots and root canals of the tooth are connected. This space is called a Pulp Chamber.

 

The role of dental pulp is to regulate the nutrition, growth and development of the tooth. The tooth also gets nutrition from the tissues surrounding the root. Therefore, a tooth can function without its pulp. After root canal treatment the tooth is pulpless, but it is not a dead tooth.

How does a root canal get infected?

The most common cause of a root canal infection is deep tooth decay, which allows bacteria to reach the pulp chamber.

 

The dental pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The infection may spread through the openings of the canals into the surrounding bone where eventually an abscess could form and cause pain, discomfort or swelling.

 

Other causes of pulp damage could be traumatic injuries to the teeth, defective fillings, cracked teeth, gum disease and excessive wear of the teeth.

What is root canal treatment?

The aim of root canal treatment (RCT) is to remove damaged and necrotic pulp tissues, and to seal the canal system to prevent bacteria from repopulating.

 

At Vincentia Dental Care it takes 3 appointments to perform a root canal treatment. Sometimes when there is a need, extra visits are added to rinse the canal(s) with antibacterial solutions and relieve the pressure that builds up inside the tooth, caused by either bleeding or bacterial byproducts.

 

Before the start of treatment, an x-ray is taken to check the spread of inflammation, and the extent of tooth damage. The x-ray also shows the shape and the length of the root(s) that will be treated. A decision is made whether to perform RCT or suggest some other treatment options.

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Treatment Steps

1st visit: The tooth is isolated with a rubber dam. The decayed tissues are removed and an access cavity into the pulp chamber is prepared. Next step involves using some specialised files and chemicals to widen, rinse and disinfect the canals, and then seal the opening with a temporary filling.

Treatment Steps

2nd visit: The temporary filling is removed, the canal(s) is rinsed and dried with sterile absorbent papers. The length of the canal(s) is measured and filled with specialized material that seals the whole length of the canal(s) to prevent reinfection. The access opening is plugged with a temporary filling material, and another x-ray is taken to verify the result of the procedure.  

 

3rd visit: At this time, the damaged crown is assessed. If more than half of the crown is missing, a post is inserted into the widest root canal to support the restorative material applied to the tooth. The patient is advised to have an artificial crown made to protect the crown from breaking apart.  

How successful are root canal treatments?

The success rate of root canal treatment ranges from 92% to 97% and it depends on several factors:

 

  • The experience of the clinician and the instruments used for this type of treatment. Root canal treatment techniques, equipment and modalities change often to improve the outcome of the treatment and dentists should follow professional development courses to be up to date in their treatment approach.

  • The isolation of the tooth with rubber dam from the oral cavity (saliva) is critical during the procedure. This creates a clean, bacteria-free working field.

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  • The extent of the initial damage to the tooth. The experienced dentist would advise you the best treatment outcome and whenever not sure they shouldn’t hesitate to ask a specialist opinion.

  • Choosing the appropriate restoration after the root canal treatment.  Wrongly chosen final restoration can cause leakage of bacteria inside the sealed canals hence reinfection and abscess.

  • The success rate of retreatment of an already root-canal-treated-tooth is not predictable and fails drastically, especially when a surgical retreatment is to be considered.

Complications

Unfortunately, sometimes the shape of the root canal system doesn’t allow efficient cleaning and disinfection of the canal and after the treatment, an abscess develops on the tip of one or more roots.

 

In these cases an endodontic surgery called apicectomy is performed, which involves peeling the gum to directly access the affected area to curette the lesion and shape and polish the tip of the roots.

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images courtesy Dr K Kourshounian

Call us today and make an appointment to have your teeth and gums checked and let us help you eradicate pain and decay with appropriate treatment.