Root Canal Therapy

If tooth decay or an injury have exposed the pulp (nerve), the tooth will eventually become painful and infected.  This infection can spread up through the root canal, into the bone and beyond and potentially threaten one’s health.

What is root canal therapy?

Just like when doing a filling, topical anaesthetic is painted on the gum prior to numbing, all to make sure the tooth is fast asleep.

Using fine and flexible nickel-titanium files the root canals are cleaned and shaped out to remove whats left of the infected pulp.

To successfully stop the passage of bacteria up through the root canal and into the bone, one needs to find all of the root canals and clean them out thoroughly up to within half of a millimetre of the end of the canal.

We use computer-guided technology to map this length exactly, and its auto–apical reverse function takes us to this exact length with our instrumentation.  Rotary and reciprocating flexible files are used to prepare out what are often fine and twisted canals.We dress the root internally with topical corticosteroid to keep it calm after the appointment.

At the second appointment  the tooth is dressed with calcium hydroxide.  This extra dressing not only eliminates bacteria from inside the root canal but also stimulates healing of the bone under the tooth.

The tooth is next root filled to the exact length that it was prepared to.

The fourth appointment involves strengthening  the tooth, often with a titanium , carbon or custom fitted post and rebuilding with filling material to function as a normal tooth again.

Success rates above 98% are now achievable and it is far better and less costly than removing and replacing teeth with implants or bridge work.

The most common causes of this 2% failure rate are;

The tooth may have a vertical crack in the root. It is often impossible to detect this at time of root canal treatment, even when examining under high magnification.

There may be resistant bacteria living in the bone under the tooth which the body just can’t quite eliminate.

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