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Endodontics (Nerve Treatment)
Endodontics is a field of dentistry that deals with the tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the root end of a tooth. The pulp (containing nerves and other soft tissues) can become diseased by deep decay or become injured when a tooth is knocked, chipped or fractured in an accident, and is often unable to repair itself. If it gets inflamed and/or infected, root canal treatment is required.
The endodontic services we provide include: pulp capping, root canal treatment or retreatment, endodontic surgery, bleaching of discoloured non-vital teeth, treating of traumatic tooth injuries and diagnosing and treating dental pain.
Types of treatments
Before Root Canal Treatment
Root Canal Treatment
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- In the centre of every healthy tooth is the Pulp which contains the nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth alive.
- Not all cavities can be solved by justa filling, if the decay or pre-existing damage is too deep; the pulp at the centre can become infected.
- Over time, the infection can travel down the root to cause damage around the root.
- Once the pulp is injured, the tooth starts to die; this can cause pain – a toothache.
- Other causes of pulp injury include very deep fillings, trauma, cracked tooth and gum disease.
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- Once the injury or damage is bad enough to affect the pulp, the only other option is Dental Extraction.
- Dental Extraction causes many other problems affecting chewing and speech. It also increases risk of decay and gumdisease.
- Root Canal Treatment is the best choice to save the tooth.
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- An opening is made at the top of the tooth.Using this opening, the damaged pulp tissue is removed from the pulp chamber and root canals.
- The canals are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.Sometimes medication is placed in the canals and the opening is closed with a temporary filling until the next appointment.
- After the canals are flushed clean and dried, they are sealed with an inert material. The opening in the tooth is also sealed with a permanent filling usually called the core. If the tooth is too badly damage, a post is also inserted to support the core.
- In order to better protect the tooth after Root Canal Treatment is completed, a Crown should be placed on the tooth.
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- The cost and the number of visits required depend on which tooth and the degree of difficulty. Generally, Root Canal Treatment for the front teeth is easier, whereas the back teeth (molars) are more complicated and cost more.
- X-rays are also needed during Root Canal Treatment.
- After Root Canal Treatment, the teeth tend to be more brittle and there is a risk of the tooth cracking if a Crown is not done.
Frequently Asked Questions On Endodontic Treatment
What are the benefits of endodontic treatment?
Endodontic treatment saves teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted. Saving your natural teeth, if possible, is the best option. Occasionally a tooth cannot be saved. Endodontic treatment can be performed only if the root canals are accessible and can be adequately cleaned and sealed. The tooth must also have sufficient bone support.
How many appointments are necessary?
Usually two or three visits are necessary. Sometimes it can be completed in one single visit.
How long will the tooth last?
With proper restoration and dental care such as proper brushing and flossing, regular dental check-up, it may last a life time. After the completion of endodontic treatment, your dentists will usually advise on a restoration, for instance a crown, that protects the tooth from future fracture.
Is the procedure painful?
Endodontic treatment does not cause pain; in fact it relieves it. When you have a severe toothache, the toothache most likely is due to damaged tissues in the tooth. Endodontic treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, thereby relieving the pain you feel.
Will there be pain after procedure?
Cleaning the root canals may cause some slight tenderness but the discomfort can be relieved by taking some pain killers. If pain persists or if you experience severe pain, call your dentist.
Can the endodontic treatment fail?
Endodontic treatment can have success rate of up to 90% in general. However failure can occur if:
- The affected tooth develops decay.
- The restoration on the tooth fails.
- The tooth cracks