Most commonly, a root canal is the choice of treatment to save a natural tooth and is typically less painful than extraction as well as having a shorter recovery time.
How is a root canal procedure performed?
In order to understand how the root canal procedure works, you need to understand the anatomy of a tooth. The area of the tooth that extends beyond the gums and that is visible to the naked eye is known as the crown, the soft centre of your tooth is known as the pulp chamber, and the area within the root of your tooth is known as the root canal; this extends from the tip of the root into the pulp chamber and contains the nerve of the tooth. The pulp chamber and the root canal are made up of connective tissue and blood vessels that provide nourishment to the tooth.
Decay that reaches the pulp chamber or the nerve of the tooth requires root canal treatment. During root canal treatment, your dentist here at Smile Up will remove the infected nerve and pulp from the root canal system and seal it with a biocompatible material known as Gutta Percha. In general, incisors and canines have a single root and a single canal whilst premolars have two and molars have three or four canals. A root canal will relieve the pain caused by an infected or abscessed tooth.
What are the tell-tale signs that you might need a root canal?
It’s tricky to ascertain whether you might need a root canal though there are some signs that indicate you might require treatment – these include:
- Persistent pain – if you find eating and drinking is persistently a challenge and does not get any better, see your dentist as this could well be evidence that you require a root canal.
- Chipped or cracked tooth – when a tooth becomes chipped or cracked, the nerves beneath become exposed, which can lead to infection that needs to be addressed.
- Sensitivity to heat and cold – if you find you struggle to eat and drink foods that are at each extreme of the hot/cold scale you may need a root canal to treat the sensitivity in your tooth.
- Swollen gum area – swollen gums are a sign of complications beneath the surface and a raised bump may suggest you need a root canal.
If you would like to book an appointment with us, click to fill out our easy-to-use online booking form. Alternatively, please give us a call and our team will be happy to find an appointment slot to suit you. We’re easy to find and close to the Deptford DLR station and Greenwich and St Johns train stations as well as several bus services. If you’re looking for a Canary wharf dentist, our practice is located 27 minutes away via DLR (direct) and 20 minutes away by car.