When it comes to recovering from a dental abscess, one of the most well-known treatments that most dental teams will push for is a root canal.
And, for some bizarre reason, most dental patients are less than enthused at the idea of undertaking such a procedure, even though there is a wealth of evidence that the procedure is not only completely safe but that it will also restore their smiles. Great!
So, if you need to attend your dentist in Parramatta in the next few days to have a root canal conducted, you may be wondering what exactly is going to be involved. Here is a short and simplified guide to help you.
Firstly, if your dental team has not done so already, they will take an x-ray of your jaw to assess the condition and size of the abscess. This will help them with planning the root canal.
Once the x-rays are completed and a plan of action has been devised, your mouth will be numbed or, if you are a nervous patient, you will be sedated.
Your dental team will then begin drilling down through the enamel and dentine of your tooth to reach the pulp; this hole is called a canal.
Once they have reached the pulp, using a set of small, specially designed files, they will widen the canal to allow them to complete the next step. The widening of the canal can take up to 45 minutes, especially if your root canal is being performed on a tooth that has more than a single root.
Next comes the cleaning! Using antiseptic rinses and a set of specialised tools, your dental team will begin removing the infected debris from the inside of your tooth. This can be a lengthy process too, and thus, it can be spread over multiple appointments. This is the stage where your dental team will be looking to remove the pulp (if necessary) and will aim to reduce the swelling around your tooth.
Once the cleaning of the pulp and canal is complete, your dental team will then begin sealing the canal with a rubber-like substance known as gutta-percha. This is an antimicrobial material that will prevent bacteria from getting to the root of the tooth in the future. When the canal and the root are filled, your dental team will place a filling or crown over the tooth, and the treatment is complete!
For the next few days, your mouth, and the area underneath the tooth with the root canal will likely feel bruised and tender. This sensation is completely normal and should fade on its own in the next few days. If it doesn’t fade, or it gets worse, then you will need to contact your dental team as soon as possible.
Root canals are designed to last the rest of your life and if you maintain good oral hygiene, it is unlikely that there will be an issue with the same tooth at a later point. Just be sure to also attend bi-annual check-ups with your dental team to prevent both gum disease and tooth decay.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.