A guide to root canals from our dentist
When most people think of dental care nowadays, they envision Hollywood smiles, gleaming white teeth and more advanced cosmetic treatments, such as oral implants and invisible aligners. And that is great!
But many people now overlook the roots of dental care, which are based on preserving teeth, restoration and the prevention of cavities and decay. And when you say the words root canal to any dental patient, it is likely it will be met with a shudder, even though it is an important and extremely beneficial procedure if you need to undertake it.
At Strand on The Green Dental Practice, our dentist in Chiswick has performed many restorative procedures to help patients restore their smiles and reduce any discomfort that they have been in. This allows our patients to smile with confidence, which is at the heart of what we do.
In this very short guide, we will introduce you to the root canal, and our dentist in Chiswick will explain why this procedure is so important.
What is a root canal?
In years gone by, the only way to deal with a decayed or infected tooth was to remove it, which would be problematic if the tooth was located at the front of the mouth, as there would be a very noticeable gap.
However, today, our dentist in Chiswick can bypass this problem by offering our patients a root canal, which in essence, removes the infection from the root of the tooth. It is an endodontic procedure, which means it takes place underneath the tooth.
Typically, root canals are performed following a dental infection, so you should have been on a course of antibiotics before the root canal to control the infection.
Our team will numb the area around the infected tooth and begin drilling to access the root. This hole is called a canal, and once it is in place, our team will widen it slightly so that we can get a better look at the infected pulp.
We will then begin to remove the infected pulp and very gently begin to fill the canal with gutta-percha once all of the infected material has been removed from the tooth. When the canal is filled, we will top it off with either a filling or crown and the process will be complete.
The aftercare for a root canal is minimal. There may be some soreness or a sensation of bruising afterwards, but this is normal and should subside in a few days. If it doesn’t or you notice that the discomfort is worsening, then please contact our team as there may be an issue with the fitting or some Infected material left behind.
With the correct care, such as biannual checkups and good dental hygiene, the results of a root canal should easily last the rest of your life without the recurrence of a dental infection.
In some cases, root canals are also used to resolve trauma to the tooth. But in instances where they are used to restore the tooth after infection, to prevent dental infections, you should attend biannual checkups, minimise sugar and keep good dental hygiene practices up in your home.