Root Canal Therapy
A root canal is when the dentist removes dead or damaged pulpal nerve tissue from within the tooth.
What is the function of a tooth's pulpal tissue?
When healthy, every tooth contains pulpal tissue right in the middle of it. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels and plays an important role in the formation and development of the tooth. The blood vessels keep the organic components of the tooth mineralized (i.e. enamel and dentin) and supplied with nutrients. The nerve tissue also has a sensory function.
When does a tooth need a root canal?
Under normal circumstances the nerve remains quiet but when irritated by extreme pressure, temperature or severe insult (meaning cracks or advanced decay) the nerve will respond with a painful sensation.
When the nerve is irritated beyond repair, it hurts constantly, often waking you up at night, or throbbing for several minutes after a cold drink.
When the nerve is totally dead, it rots from within and develops into an infection (abscess) that makes the gums around the tooth swell up, pus to form, and causes bad breath.
What is root canal therapy and how do we do it here?
A “root canal” is when the dentist removes dead or damaged pulpal nerve tissue from within the tooth. Through the use of oxidative agents, chelating agents, and biocompatible antimicrobials, the tooth is cleaned from the inside.
We use Calcium Hydroxide, which lowers the pH in the treatment area to kill toxin producing bacteria and stimulate natural bone growth.
The canal space is then filled with bioactive glass Resilon, which is proven to be nontoxic, non-mutagenic, and biocompatible.
Often, a root canal treated tooth will require a dental crown to seal the root canal and to strengthen the tooth so it does not break in the future.
Further questions about this procedure may be answered directly by the dentist at your initial examination.
Does a root canal hurt?
We ALWAYS numb the tooth completely with local anaesthetic before starting. Getting a root canal is just like any other dental procedure in this regard. Often times, patients fall asleep during the procedure!