Your roots are what hold your teeth in your jaw. Back teeth will have up to four roots each, while your front teeth normally have just one.
Inside these roots, you’ll have nerves and a blood supply making up the root canal.
Healthy teeth have live nerves. However, decay or injuries can cause these nerves to die, which might lead to an abcess at the end of each root.
Root fillings are used to remove damaged or dead nerves, as well as bacteria which can fill the canals. Any space left behind will then be filled, and the tooth itself will be repaired. Whole, complete or healthy teeth do not reach the point at which this is necessary.
What can Quality Dental NHS Dentist Fulham do?
- X-rays will show Quality Dental Fulham the shape and size of your root canals. They’ll then be able to see any trace of infection in the bone which surrounds them. Certain tooth roots are simple to fill, due to their regular shape. X-rays can also show whether a root filling will not be an appropriate course of action.
- Your dentist will administer an injection in order to numb the area. You should then refrain from eating or drinking hot drinks until the effects of the injection have worn off.
- The tooth will have a hole made inside it, which can be enlarged in order to allow the dentist to see the root canal itself.
- Dead or dying nerves will be removed with narrow files, which will find the root canals within.
- More X-rays will be taken in order to specify the root canal length.
- A second appointment may be necessary. If this is the case, a temporary filling will be applied. However, the permanently filling will usually be carried out during the first appointment.
It is likely that the affected tooth will be very sensitive for 48 hours after the procedure, and painkillers may be necessary. Quality Dental Fulham advise patients to leave the rest of the day and evening free, as patients may feel less than 100% after this kind of treatment.
What benefits does this procedure bring?
- Toothache can be the result of nerve damage. However, the pain will subside once the root canal is cleared.
- Teeth with dead nerves most probably have to be extracted if a root filling is not carried out.
- Between 80-90% of root fillings are successful, and thus will extend the longevity of a damaged tooth.
Are there any disadvantages?
- Teeth subjected to root treatments can break due to weakness between visits, or during the course of your treatments. However, most breakages or fractures can be repaired. Severe breaks may lead to tooth extraction.
- There may be some pain following the treatment.
- Infections may be recurrent after a treatment, leading to toothache and pain when biting. Certain issues can lead to teeth not responding to treatment, but your NHS Fulham dentist can advise on this issues, as well as the likelihood of treatment being successful.
- Should root treatment fail, the tooth may need to be extracted.
- Fracturing of the canal can occur from the use of metal files (which are used to remove the nerves). Should this happen, the dentist will inform the patient, make notes in order to keep an eye on the specific tooth. The remaining part of the canal will be filled, and if there are negative issues in the future, re-root treatment will be required. This may be carried out by your Quality Dental Fulham Practice, or it may involve a referral to a different specialist.
- The gutta percha point can occasionally go through the tip of the root. If this occurs, your dentist will let you know. They will then make a note on file in case of future complications, but studies have shown that this occurrence does not affect the outcome of the treatment in the vast majority of cases.