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All the latest news from London Dental Smiles
Root Canal

What You Need to Know About Root Canal Treatment

Posted by Fabio on Monday, Feb 19, 2018

Endodontic treatment, more commonly known as root canal treatment, is an advanced dental technique used to eliminate infection and decontaminate a damaged or decaying tooth. If you have been told that you need endodontic therapy to improve your dental health, you might be wondering just what to expect. It is normal to feel nervous before any procedure, but this guide aims to put your mind at rest.

When root canal treatment is needed

When a tooth becomes infected, it can quickly become extremely painful. Symptoms of infection can include a swollen face, pain in the tooth and around the area, and the onset of fever. Dental care is needed urgently. Sometimes an infected tooth is badly damaged and will need to be extracted to repair the problem. However, where possible your dentist will try and save the tooth using a root canal treatment.

Endodontic treatment involves accessing the base of the tooth and cleaning out contamination within the tooth’s structure. Along with the more invasive periradicular surgery, root canal treatments are one of several options open to the dentist when trying to save your tooth.

Your root canal treatment

The majority of endodontic procedures are carried out under local anaesthetic. This means you will be awake for the procedure, although you shouldn’t feel any pain. Once the tooth and surrounding area are numbed, the dentist can remove the internal pulp of a tooth and gain access to the deeper root canals. From here, the canals can be cleaned and all infection removed. Finally, the dentist will fill the cavity and access point and cap the tooth with a crown or filling to protect the treatment and ensure the tooth is usable.

After your treatment

Your dentist might arrange a follow-up appointment to ensure your endodontic treatment has been successful. Immediately after your treatment, you will experience numbness in your tooth and face and after the anaesthetic wears off, you may start to feel some pain and discomfort. Paracetamol should be sufficient for managing the post-treatment pain, but consider returning to your dentist if the pain persists or gets worse.

For the first few days, avoid biting down on anything too hard as you don’t want to damage the filled tooth. Once the treatment settles down, you should find the tooth is as good as new. Look after your tooth following the treatment by establishing a good dental care routine, and consider avoiding sugary foods and giving up smoking – both these factors can speed up tooth damage and decay, and may stop your root canal treatment working effectively.

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