If you’re experiencing toothache, swelling, and sensitivity to hot and cold, it may be that the inner soft tissue of your tooth – or dental pulp – has become infected due to damage or deep decay. A root canal treatment eliminates the pain, often clearing the infection and sealing the inside of your tooth to prevent re-infection. A dental crown or onlay is often required after your root canal treatment, to strengthen and restore tooth function. At the Sandstone Dental Practice, we offer specialist endodontics in-house, so if you need a root canal in Merseyside, you can rest assured you’ll be in safe hands.
Root canal treatment has a bit of a negative reputation, but it’s one that we at The Sandstone Dental Practice intend to rectify. The procedure might have been something to fear many decades ago, but today’s modern technology and high-tech pain relief make root canal treatment as routine as getting a filling. And with the specialist care we offer, you can be confident your root canal experience will be positive and pain-free.
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The causes of tooth infection are varied – deep decay due to cavities or gum disease, cracked fillings or crowns, and damage as a result of trauma, or even teeth grinding. Whatever the reason, a root canal treatment will prevent the need for tooth extraction and future costly treatments.
Root canal symptoms often come in two waves. When the pulp becomes infected, early signs that you might need root canal treatment include toothache, sensitive teeth to hot and cold foods, and pain when eating and drinking. When the infected pulp dies, these symptoms may temporarily subside – but don’t be tempted to put off seeing your dentist! When the infection spreads to the root canal, those early symptoms come back – this time accompanied by pain and swelling to the face and gums, and pus around the infected tooth, which will often appear dark in colour. In this scenario, contact us immediately for an emergency dentist appointment.
Root canal treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic and is usually a straightforward procedure, rather like getting a filling. Once the tooth is completely numb, the dentist will use a series of tiny instruments to open up the tooth and extract the infected pulp. The remaining space is cleaned and shaped, ready for filling with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha. A temporary filling is usually placed on top – the definitive restoration would be carried out in a separate appointment.
You can carry on as normal once the anaesthetic has worn off, though the full healing period will take around a week – just be careful eating and chewing, and maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine.