Demystifying Root Canal Therapy
Today we’ll demystify one of the most feared expressions in dentistry – “Root Canal Therapy“. Despite the negative reputation it has had among patients in the past, it is widely misunderstood. Due to major advancements in dentistry, undergoing a root canal is no longer an uncomfortable experience. In fact, the primary objective of this treatment is to alleviate the pain caused by a tooth that has been damaged or severely infected.
Many of our patients who have undergone root canal treatment report feeling no discomfort during or after the procedure and any tenderness can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Most patients actually feel relief from the pain and discomfort caused by their infected tooth.
As dental professionals, we believe that root canal therapy is an excellent option to save a natural tooth from extraction and replacement. While dental restorations such as dental implants, implant-secured dentures, and bridges have made great strides in recent years and provide exceptional outcomes, there’s nothing like preserving your natural teeth.
So don’t worry if you’ve been told you require a root canal. This is a chance to save a natural tooth that would otherwise need extraction. Neglecting to remove an infected tooth can lead to numerous dental issues and can be dangerous if the infection spreads to other areas of the body. As such, if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to see your dentist:
- Intense tooth pain or sensitivity
- Inflamed gums
- Darkening of the affected tooth
- Pus or discharge from the affected tooth
- A continual unpleasant taste in your mouth
What Happens During Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that can rescue a severely infected, inflamed, or damaged tooth from extraction. This treatment is typically performed in two appointments by our experienced Endodontist, Dr Umut Gokay Emir, who holds an MSc and PhD in Endodontics. Umut is well-versed in saving teeth, especially in complex cases, and will ensure you feel comfortable throughout the entire procedure.
During treatment, Umut will numb the area and then extract the damaged or infected pulp inside your tooth using specialised instruments. Next, the tooth chamber is cleaned and disinfected to eliminate any remaining bacteria. At the end of your visit, a temporary filling will be applied to safeguard the tooth until your following appointment.
Once the infection has passed, he will remove the temporary filling and fill the tooth with a special material called “gutta-percha” to prevent further infection. He will then seal the tooth back up with a permanent filling. A porcelain crown may be used in cases where the tooth has darkened.
Root canal therapy is a widely practised dental procedure with a high success rate. After the treatment, your tooth may feel slightly sensitive for a few days. However, this is normal and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
Root Canal Therapy vs Extraction
When a tooth is damaged or infected, you typically have two choices: root canal therapy or extraction. Although both treatments can restore your oral health, there are significant distinctions between them.
Root canal therapy is a conservative procedure that functions as a pain-relieving method and can preserve your tooth. Following the treatment, your tooth will work normally, so you can eat, speak and enjoy your favourite foods again.
On the other hand, extraction is a more complicated procedure that entails removing the whole tooth from the socket. Although this treatment may be necessary in some situations, it may result in other dental issues, such as future bone loss and shifting of the surrounding teeth, that could require orthodontic treatment to correct. As a result, if you opt for extraction, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist about tooth replacement alternatives to preserve the natural appearance of your smile.
In general, a root canal is always the recommended option over extraction because it can prevent further damage to your oral health. However, extraction may be the only option if your tooth is severely damaged or infected. At The Bristol Dentist, we’ll work closely with you to determine the best course of action for your individual needs.
Proper aftercare following root canal therapy is crucial for ensuring the success of the treatment. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash. You should also avoid hard, sticky foods that could damage your tooth or filling. If you experience any pain or swelling after the treatment, applying a cold compress to the affected area can provide relief.
In addition to at-home care, regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for the long-term health of your teeth and gums. Your dentist can monitor the progress of your root canal and detect any potential issues early on. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your treatment is a success and enjoy a healthy smile for years to come.
Visit The Bristol Dentist Practice in Bristol for Pain-Free Root Canal Therapy:
Root canal therapy is a safe and effective treatment that can save your natural tooth from extraction. At The Bristol Dentist, our team works hard to ensure you feel at ease and comfortable during your appointment, providing top-notch dental care. If you have any queries or apprehensions about your upcoming root canal treatment or any other dental procedure, please feel free to contact us. Book a free consultation online or call our friendly reception team at 0117 405 7264.
We look forward to welcoming you!