What is a Root Canal?

Wellington Dentist

Nerves enter at the tip of the tooth’s roots and run through the center of the tooth in small, thin root canals, which join up in the pulp chamber. Each tooth has at least one root canal but may contain more.

Why might I need Root Canal Treatment?

Injury or trauma to a tooth may cause the pulp to become inflamed or infected; eventually, the pulp may die. Damaged or dead pulp leads to increased blood flow and cellular activity, creating pressure inside the tooth that cannot be relieved. This may result in pain when biting down or chewing with the affected tooth, or when consuming hot or cold drinks. Without treatment, the infection may spread, the bone around the tooth may degenerate, and the tooth may fall out.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment is a procedure to remove damaged or dead pulp. After the pulp chamber and root canal are cleaned out and reshaped, the canal is filled with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha to prevent re-contamination, and the tooth is permanently sealed. Treatment usually involves one to three appointments. After cleaning and reshaping, the dentist may seal the tooth with a temporary crown, leave it open to drain, or fill the canals, depending on the tooth’s condition. A topical medication also may be applied in the area to fight bacteria. Temporary fillings will be removed on subsequent visits. If the tooth is still weak after the pulp chamber and canal are filled, a metal or fiber-reinforced resin post may be used to reinforce the tooth. Finally, the area is permanently sealed, and a gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or ceramic crown usually is placed over the tooth to reinforce its structure and improve its appearance.

How will I feel after treatment?

Tissue inflammation in the area may cause some discomfort. This usually can be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Aftercare includes maintaining regular visits with your dentist, brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing once a day, and avoiding chewing hard foods with the treated tooth.

Are there any potential complications?

On rare occasions, new infections may occur. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including an undetected crack in the root of the tooth, a defective restoration, or the breakdown of an inner sealing material. In these cases, additional follow-up and treatment may be necessary.

Are there any alternatives to Root Canal Treatment?

The only alternative to root canal treatment is an extraction of the infected tooth. This can eventually cause the surrounding teeth to move, which may result in a bad bite that ultimately requires an implant or bridge. It’s always best to keep your original tooth if possible, and root canal treatment allows you to do so.

To learn more about root canal treatment and determine whether it’s the best option for you, talk to your general dentist.

Need a Root Canal Treatment? Learn how the dentists at Victoria Street Dental can help!

What Popular Drinks Do To Your Teeth

What effect does everyday drink have on your teeth?

A drink is a typical part of every meal—whether it’s a glass of wine, water or juice, it helps you wash down your meal and leaves you feeling refreshed.

But have you ever thought about the potential damage (or benefits) your favourite drink has on your oral health?

We break down the best and worst choices for your teeth below.

Wellington Dentist

1. Wine. Whether you have an occasional glass of red or white, neither are fantastic for your dental health. White wine contains more acid than red wine, which is bad news for your enamel. Many wines also have a high sugar content.

2. Water. Drink up! Water is a necessity of life, and staying properly hydrated means you’re adequately producing saliva, which is required for good oral health and preventing your teeth from decaying.

3. Coffee. While the dark colour isn’t ideal for pearly whites, a single morning cup of coffee isn’t going to harm your oral health—so long as you skip the sweetener.

4. Milk. You’ve probably heard that milk helps to build healthy bones—and your teeth are no exception. Milk contains many minerals like calcium that aid in stopping cavity forming bacteria.

5. Fruit juice. Because most fruit juices are highly concentrated, more often than not you’re drinking something that’s highly acidic compared to fresh fruit. If you regularly drink juice, consider diluting it with water to help lessen the potential damage to your teeth.

Wondering about other drinks that may benefit or harm your oral health? Ask us at your next appointment.

Regular dental care allows you to keep enjoying your drinks and helps reduce the chance of future work such as fillings and root canals.