Root Canal Treatment in Glasgow
Visits to the dentist are an essential part of keeping your teeth healthy and free from decay, but there may be times when despite your best efforts, further treatment is necessary.
For teeth which have either been injured or affected severely by decay, a root canal treatment might be essential. Here's a closer look at what a root canal actually means and who might need it.
When is a root canal treatment needed?
A root canal treatment might be considered by your dentist if the inner part of your tooth - known as the pulp - has been severely damaged by either injury or decay. The pulp is the nerve supply to your tooth and without treatment, any infection can spread downwards into your gum, causing an abscess (also known as a gumboil).
An abscess can be incredibly painful, with a collection of pus gathering in the gum area, making it impossible to eat, or even touch the affected area. The likely outcome is the loss of your tooth.
How will I know if my tooth pulp is infected?
You may have some tooth ache but in the early stages you might not have any pain at all. A tell-tale sign that there is something wrong with the nerve system within the tooth is a discolouration or a slight darkening.
What happens during a root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment is a type of dentistry procedure known as endodontics, and is a particularly skilled type of treatment, typically taking at least a couple of appointments to complete. The infected pulp will be removed and then the root canal will be thoroughly cleaned out, removing any sign of infection.
Your dentists will then leave the tooth to settle and if no more treatment is required, the tooth can be permanently filled. Sometimes a crown is added simply to provide security and strength; a tooth without a pulp is effectively "dead" and can be weaker.
Is the root canal treatment painful?
A local anaesthetic will be used by your dentist for your root canal treatment so you won't feel a thing. Patients report it's very similar to having a filling.
Is there an alternative treatment?
Not really. Once the pulp in a tooth has sustained that much damage, there's no way to bring it back to life. The only alternative to a root canal is the removal of the tooth but that's something that most dentists try to avoid. It's generally thought that keeping as many of your teeth as possible is a good idea.
You can't leave an infected tooth in your mouth either, as it will ultimate cause severe pain which could impact on your ability to eat and sleep.