Dentists in Anstey, Leicester 33 The Nook, Anstey, Leicester LE7 7AZ


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Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. “Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the centre of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.

Although they might seem like scary and complicated treatments, root canals have come a long way since their creation. In fact, with modern techniques and technology, root canals have evolved into relatively comfortable treatments that often require no more than one or two trips to the dentist. If your dentist has recommended a root canal treatment, here is a step-by-step guide of what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.

Dentists perform a root canal treatment to remove bacteria and dying or dead tissue from inside the tooth. The pulp inside of the tooth can become infected with bacteria because of an injury or a severe, untreated cavity. Without treatment, the infection can cause pain and can worsen, sometimes making it necessary for your dentist to remove the tooth. A root canal treatment might be just what you need to get your smile back on track.

A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.

Why Does Tooth Pulp Need to Be Removed?

When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:

  • Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
  • Bone loss around the tip of the root
  • Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin

A root canal is essentially a four-step process. Treatment usually takes two visits to the practice.

How Is A Root Canal Performed?

  1. First, the dentist administers local anaesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding gums. You’ll feel a bit of a pinch when the needle is injected, but only for a moment. After that, you won’t be able to feel anything. When the tooth is numb, the dentist might place a dental dam, a small sheet of rubber that isolates the tooth to keep it clean and dry during the procedure.
  2. Your dentist will then use very small tools, such as a small drill, to access the inside of the tooth by creating an opening in the top portion of the tooth. Next, the dentist will use small files to clear away the damaged pulp from the inside of the tooth. He or she will also use the files to shape the inner chamber of the tooth and root and might irrigate the chamber with water to make sure there isn’t any infected pulp hiding out. Your dentist might also use an antimicrobial solution to kill any remaining bacteria in the chamber and reduce the risk for further infection.
  3. Once the chamber is thoroughly cleaned and dried, the dentist will fill it with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Then your dentist will close the opening in your tooth with a temporary filling while you wait for the permanent crown.
  4. After a few weeks, your dentist will finish the treatment by placing a permanent crown or a similar type of restoration on the top of the tooth. Depending on the condition of your natural tooth, the dentist may need to place a small supporting post inside of the root chamber, to make the crown or restoration more stable.

After The Procedure

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a must after a root canal. Make sure to maintain a good oral care routine at home by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping up with your twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams. You might need to schedule an additional visit with your dentist to X-ray the treated tooth and make sure that all signs of infection are gone. With excellent care and attention, a tooth treated with a root canal can stay healthy for the rest of your life. That sounds like a great incentive to keep your smile healthy!

A root canal can seem daunting at first, and the stories you hear don’t help the matter. But the truth is that a root canal isn’t all as painful as you might think, and it can often be the best option for a pain-free smile long-term.

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COVID-19 update

Many of you will be aware that during the latest Covid 19 update dental practices have been given the green light to re-open the surgery from 8th June. Whilst this is good news, there are a number of procedures that we have being putting in place to make treatment safe for our patients and staff, as we are sure you will appreciate, this is taking some time to set up.

Our intention is, if at all possible to commence opening on the 8th June but this is entirely dependent on our ability to obtain training and appropriate PPE which as you know there is a great shortage of. This equipment will be essential for us to be able to operate.

From 8th- 29th of June we will be prioritising the most urgent of cases including those who have been experiencing problems during this lockdown period. We will contact you directly to arrange an appointment. This period may be extended if required.

Rest assured we are trying our utmost to source this PPE as soon as possible to enable us to extend our treatment further to include fillings, crown/bridge work, root treatments and surgical extractions, scale & polish ect.

We anticipate that it will be several weeks before we will be able to commence these more advanced procedures.

This is a rapidly changing environment which we are adapting to as quickly as we possibly can. We really appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this difficult period and look forward to welcoming you back to the practice soon.

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