Root Canal Treatment
Root canal Treatment (RCT), also known as endodontics, is a dental procedure that aims to treat infection at the centre of a tooth or pulp. Bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth cause the infection. This can happen after tooth decay, leaky fillings or damage to teeth as a result of trauma, such as a fall.
Normally we need a first appointment to diagnose the problem and evaluate the tooth. After this first visit we normally try to start and finish the treatment in one single appointment and this may vary from one to two hours length, this depends on the tooth we are treating.
During the appointment the damaged pulp is removed from the root canal and any abscess that may have formed is drained, then the canal space is thoroughly cleaned. The root canal is then prepared and shaped very carefully with precise instrumentation. The canal space is filled and sealed. Occasionally a second appointment may be required in particularly difficult cases.
Root canal treatment will usually ‘weaken’ a tooth, they are very much at risk of fracture and may also become discoloured. We will usually therefore recommend that any tooth root that is filled is then protected with a crown to prevent possible breakage.
Endodontic treatment simply tries to ensure a balance of health is maintained and there is no recurrence of infection, so we can restore the tooth to normal function and appearance.
Internal bleaching procedures are performed on devitalized teeth that have undergone endodontic treatment but are discolored due to internal staining of the tooth structure. Unlike external bleaching, which brightens teeth from the outside in, internal bleaching brightens teeth from the inside out.
Bleaching the tooth internally involves drilling a hole to the pulp chamber, cleaning, sealing and placing a peroxide gel or sodium perforate into the pulp chamber so they can work directly inside the tooth. This gel needs to be changed every week; during this time a temporary filling is placed to close the small hole. Each patient is different and needs different number of appointments, although normally this is between 2-3 appointments. There is a small risk of external resorption.
Before starting, an X-ray is needed to check if the root canal treatment is correct and there is no infection. Each appointment takes around 20 to 30 minutes. In the last appointment the old filling is changed it for an aesthetic one. Great results are obtained with this non-aggressive technique.
If you would like to find out more about any of the treatment options we offer, please get in touch.