Root Canal Treatment
Decay will cause physical damage to the teeth, and to further complicate the problem, it can reach the pulpal chamber of the tooth. This is known as endodontic infection, which is accompanied by pain and swelling.
If it is left untreated, the jaw bone may erode around the abscess. Root canal treatment would be the procedure to treat this infection.
There are three main stages of the procedure, this can occur over several visits:
- Stage one: (to reduce the active inflammation) The process of stage one, is the dentist will make an opening at the top of the tooth and to look for all the canals, once they are been accessed, the canals will be flushed out with a disinfectant and are cleaned with special instruments. Antibiotics are placed in the canals to help get rid of the infection and a temporary filling will be placed until the next appointment which will be between 4-8 weeks.
- Stage two: (to cleanse the pulpal chamber and root canals thoroughly) The process of stage two, would be re-opening the tooth from the top and flushing out the canals with the disinfectant and cleaned with special instruments. At this stage, the dentist will be assessing if there is still any infection. Once the canals are cleansed out, a temporary filling is placed in the canals until the final stage.
- Stage 3/ final stage: once the tooth is pain free and the infection is all clear. the root canal space is sealed off and the hole is filled with a permanent filling.
In some cases, the dentist may decide to do all the 3 main stages in one visit after it has been assessed.
After the root canal treatment is done, the tooth is hollow and the tooth structure would be weakened and it should be protected with a strong restoration such as a crown, this will also, act as a physical barrier to any further infection.