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Having a Root Canal Procedure

2015 February 13
by Sanjay Narda

Dispelling the myths surrounding this tooth saving dental treatment.

The two words which we use at the Bank House Dental Centre which are almost guaranteed to bring a look of concern to a patients face are ‘root and canal’. It seems that the myth of this procedure has become ingrained in the public consciousness.

Our dental patients from Chinnor, Thame and surrounding areas then, are usually relieved when we explain what the procedure actually entails and how it is not going to cause the pain that they expect.

When is root canal work needed?

A root canal procedure is usually used when the soft inner pulp of a tooth, where the nerves and some tiny blood vessels are stored, becomes infected. This can, as you might imagine, be very painful indeed.

One option, when this occurs is to extract the tooth and possibly replace it with a dental implant; however, in many cases, a root canal procedure can help to keep your natural tooth intact.

The procedure

Before performing root canal therapy at the Bank House Dental Centre, we will take an x-ray to check for signs of an abscess. This will then usually be treated before the root canal treatment, should one be detected.

In fact, it is highly likely that the myth of the pain caused by a root canal came from a time before dentists were able to detect abscesses and proceeded with treatment regardless.

If no abscess is found, or has been treated, a local anaesthetic will be given. The top of the tooth is then removed to expose the infected pulp. This is then removed and the hollow interior thoroughly cleaned to remove any remaining bacteria and infection.

The hollowed out tooth is then filled and a dental crown placed on top to give it extra strength as well as making it visually more appealing.

Aftercare

Although a root canal treated tooth should prove to be strong enough for everyday use, it is worth being aware that it will have no sensation due to the removal of the nerves.

This can lead to a little false confidence, with people biting down on hard objects thinking that, because there is no pain, the tooth will not break. In fact, a root canal filled tooth may not be quite as strong as a natural tooth so caution should be exercised.

As far as pain goes though, most of our dental patients from across Buckinghamshire have told us that the procedure is no more uncomfortable than any other invasive dental procedure.

If you are suffering from dental pain or discomfort and live in the Chinnor or Thame areas, please do not ignore it, but call on 01844 343381 to see us as soon as possible.

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