What is a root canal treatment?
The structure of a tooth is made up of two parts: the crown and the root. The crown is the top part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth, and the root is the part that extends into the jaw bone. The root canal system contains dental pulp, which extends from the crown to the end of the root.
An endodontic treatment, otherwise known as a root canal treatment, is a dental procedure done to treat an infection at the centre of a tooth. The infection usually occurs due to tooth decay, leaky fillings, or damage to teeth due to trauma. A root canal treatment will be needed when a dentist can see on an X-ray that an infection has damaged the dental pulp.
How are root canals performed?
The bacteria causing the infection will need to be removed during a root canal treatment.
Before the procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic which should make the procedure a lot less painful. A root canal treatment should be no more unpleasant than having a filling.
After the bacteria has been removed, the root canal will be filled and cleaned to prevent further infection. Then, the tooth will be sealed with either a filling or a crown. After that, the inflamed tissue around the tooth should heal naturally.
Do root canal procedures take a long time?
The length of your procedure is dependent on a number of factors, including:
- Location of the tooth
- Multiple teeth needing treatment
- How many roots are attached to the affected teeth
- The presence of curved roots
Dr Chalita le Roux will be able to give you an idea of how long your case should take to complete after the initial consultation.