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Despite its success and long history among dental surgeries, it is one of the most unliked of all dental procedures; the root canal.
Used to treat teeth that have recently become infected or have had the pulp exposed through a trauma, a root canal is a fairly simple procedure by which your dentist near Sydney CBD removes the infected debris. So, why is it so universally despised?
There are a few theories! The first is that as it is associated with infections or other uncomfortable dental procedures, it has been unfortunately linked to discomfort. Another theory is that it as it is a form of general dentistry, it is rarely spoken about.
So, if you need a root canal performed and have some queries, read on for answers to 5 of the most commonly asked FAQs about the process.
How does it remove the infection?
OK, so the first thing to understand about a root canal is how it is performed.
Your dental team will numb the area and then drill directly down into the root(s) of your teeth with a thin drill. Using a set of dental files, this hole is widened to make room for the cleaning brushes. Then, very gently, the infected debris is removed from the root(s) of the teeth, while the area is intermittently sprayed with antiseptic liquid.
Once all the bacteria is removed, the hole is filled with a putty-like substance and is topped off with either a crown or filling.
Does it kill the tooth?
A root canal does not kill your tooth.
While your dental team is removing the infection, they may inadvertently remove some of the nerves that are within your tooth but this will not kill it.
Once the treatment is complete, you will be able to ‘feel’ your tooth when you bite into things and chew; aesthetically the tooth will remain the same and will not turn black!
Is the tooth weaker due to the root canal?
Yes, it is, hence why your dental team will fill it with heavy putty-like material and why they will top it off with either a large filling or crown.
If you have concerns that your tooth requires more support, your dental team may even choose to fit a veneer on to it.
Does it need any specialised aftercare?
Following a root canal, you are likely to feel a bit of soreness underneath where the procedure was performed. But this should be temporary and should be manageable with over the counter pain relief.
Aside from being a bit gentler while the site heals, no, a root canal does not require any specialised aftercare.
How long will it last?
Root canals have excellent longevity and, provided that you maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dental team every 6 months for a check-up, they can last for the rest of your life without any issue or recurrence of the initial infection. So, it’s definitely a worthwhile procedure to have completed!
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.