Root canal treatment
Endodontics in Ealing and Hanwell
Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury. Opting not to have treatment can lead to the infection spreading to the gums and surrounding bone tissue. There is also the threat of an abscess forming and this can be very painful. Root canal treatment is carried out to resolve the infection and save the tooth, without it the only alternative is extraction of the infected tooth.
Root canal surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic to prevent any pain. The aim of the treatment is to remove all of the decayed tissue from the tooth, after which the root canals are cleaned and sealed using a rubber material called gutta percha. A protective barrier is placed over the tooth and mouth (a rubber dam) during the procedure and the patient may be given antibiotics at the end to help heal the infection.
A root filled tooth is much weaker than a living tooth and so it is advisable to place a crown on it once we are sure that the infection is healing – usually a few months after the root canal surgery. In some cases a tooth can undergo discolouration after endodontic treatment but this can be treated using a variety of methods including tooth whitening.
These x-rays show a tooth before and after root treatment
Courtesy of Dr Indy Rai