Artiste Studios - L'Orthodontiste

Getting to the “Root of the Problem”, the truth behind Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy refers to the process that treats the inner area of the tooth which is occupied by its pulp tissue. Most people refer to this pulp tissue as the nerve. While a tooth's pulp tissue does contain nerve fibres it is also composed of arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and connective tissue which are important in tooth development and are affected during disease.
You could say that the purpose of root canal treatment is to create an end result where the tissues that surround a tooth's root will maintain a healthy status despite the fact that the tooth's nerve has been damaged. An Artiste Studios’ dentist will determine if the treatment can be an appropriate solution for your situation but also that the overall condition of the tooth in question warrants the time and expense involved.
The root canal procedure usually requires one to two visits, depending on the number of teeth and complexity of the case. Follow up visits are sometimes necessary. Nonsurgical endodontic procedure or “root canal” is necessary when the soft inner tissue, or “pulp,” of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This may happen as a result of deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the same tooth, or an injury to the tooth. Root canal (endodontic) treatment removes the damaged pulp. Then the tooth’s canals are cleaned and filled to help preserve the tooth.
Here are some symptoms that suggest that root canal therapy might be required:
■         A tooth is currently causing you pain or else has a history of being painful.
■         You have noticed the presence of gum tenderness and/or swelling in an area adjacent to a tooth.
■         Problem teeth identified through x rays
■         Emergency tooth ache/pain
Advantages of this procedure:
■        Pain is always associated with root canals, but the truth is that there should be little or no pain during the procedure.
■        We do not carry out this procedure for aesthetic reasons; it is for the good of your dental health.
■        Any infection will only get worse with time, if left untreated.
■        The root canal procedure has a success rate of over 92 percent.
■        The greatest advantage is that the tooth will not need to be extracted.
Often, the only alternative to surgery is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Because these alternatives require surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, endodontic surgery is usually the most biologic and cost-effective option for maintaining your oral health. No matter how effective our modern artificial tooth replacements are, nothing is as good as your natural tooth. You’ve already made an investment in saving your tooth. The pay-off for choosing endodontic surgery could be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for the rest of your life
Teeth which have undergone root canal therapy will need to be restored to full function. Restoration is important as teeth with endodontic treatment are susceptible to fracture, and any fracture could lead to a permanent loss of the tooth. Restorations usually involve a composite filling or a full crown, depending on the strength of the remaining tooth. Anterior teeth usually maintain most of their structure and can be restored with a composite filling. However, if a large part of the tooth is missing, then a crown is required.
If the tooth does not have enough of its original structure to support the crown then a post will be cemented. This will extend into one or more of the canals. The post will not extend the length of the canals so they will remain sealed. The tooth will now be sealed, and restored to full function.
A non-vital tooth is more brittle than a vital one and is more liable to fracture so, in these cases, it is recommended that your root canal tooth be crowned (capped) following treatment.
Posterior teeth are not often restored with composite fillings because they are more exposed. They are usually restored with onlays or inlays and full crowns, covering and supporting the entire tooth, as well as maintaining your functioning bite.

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Artiste Studios - L'Orthodontiste

4 Hammersmith Broadway

London W6 7AL

T 0208 563 2864