Root Canal

Discover All You Need to Know About Root Canals On the Malo Clinic Website

Many people have heard of the term “root canal”, but not many people know what this term entails. If you have been wondering about root canal treatment and want to find out more about it, be sure to read our information below. On this page you will also find a Dr Larry Benge Podcast on the subject, so you can be fully informed about root canal treatments and what they entail.

When Is a Root Canal Treatment Used?

Root canal treatment is implemented in patients who are suffering from an infection at the centre of the tooth, better known under the name root canal system. This type of root canal treatment is also referred to as endodontics.

When you suffer from an infection of the root canal system, the blood or nerves of the tooth will be infected due to tooth decay or injury. The infection usually takes some time to come to light, since the early stages of such an infection do not cause any pain. Advanced stages of this infection can be avoided by visiting your dentist for regular check-ups.

What Happens If a Root Canal Infection Is Not Treated?

If an infection of the root canal system is not treated, it can have dire consequences for your dental health. Without treatment, the infection will start to spread through the root canal system and this can lead to additional problems such as abscesses.

An abscess is an inflamed area in the mouth, which can swell quite a bit. The abscess itself can cause symptoms such as severe pain and sensitive teeth. If this is left untreated as well, the affected tooth may have to be taken out to fix the problem.

How Is a Root Canal Treatment Performed?

A root canal treatment will be performed under a local anaesthetic, so the treatment does not feel much different than getting a filling for one of your teeth. During the treatment, the dentist will clean the root of the tooth and fill it up to prevent the infection from reoccurring.

Contrary to normal fillings, root canal treatment can be a little more complicated. Some patients may even have to visit their dentist more than once to get the treatment done. During the first appointment, the dentist will remove the infected pulp and drain any abscesses that have formed because of the infected tooth. Once the infected pulp is removed, the dentist will clean the root canal and shape it for the filling. The dentist may also choose to provide a temporary filling, so the tooth has some time to settle after the root canal treatment.

After a root canal treatment, it is recommended to visit your dentist again for a check-up. Since you were dealing with an infection, the dentist will have to check if the infection has been cleared up.

Will the Treatment Affect the Appearance of My Teeth?

In the old days, many patients did not want to go for a root canal treatment, given the fact that the teeth would darken considerably after a root canal procedure. However, times have changed and so have the techniques that are used during root canal treatments. If any discolouration should occur as a result of the root canal treatment, your dentist will be able to restore the natural appearance of your teeth. However, we do need to mention that discolouration after a root canal treatment is quite rare.

Can the Infection Return?

Most people who have a root canal treatment done are less likely to have a similar infection again. However, it is not impossible. Patients who are more susceptible to infections are more likely to experience an infection again. In these cases, root canal treatment can be repeated. Some people can also choose to have dental implants instead of having root canal treatment, although this is usually done when a root canal infection returns more than once. Dental implants can be the perfect solution for patients struggling with tooth decay, tooth infections, abscesses and gum disease, so dental implants may be worth considering if you find yourself in this situation.

Before you choose dental implants over root canal treatment, it is essential to discuss your options with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to discuss your options in great detail and evaluate if dental implants would benefit you more than a root canal treatment.

What Can You Tell Me About the Aftercare?

When you have a root canal treatment done, you will notice that the area will feel a little sensitive for a couple of days. This sensitivity goes away on its own and does not require any special medication or aftercare. However, the dentist can prescribe some painkillers depending on the severity of the infection. Patients will have to look after the tooth as if they would care for their other teeth.

To guarantee good oral health, it is essential to brush your teeth at least two times a day. Also make sure that the toothpaste you use has fluoride in it, since fluoride helps to replenish the calcium and phosphorous levels in the teeth. Calcium and phosphorous keep the enamel of the teeth hard and protect your teeth against tooth decay, so fluoride toothpaste is very important.

Your diet will also be important if you want to prevent infections and tooth decay. It is important to avoid sugary desserts and drinks, since the sugar can be converted into acids by bacteria present in your mouth. These acids attack the enamel of your teeth, making you more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.

Where Can I Obtain More Information On Root Canal Treatments and Dental Hygiene?

Patients who want to know more about root canal treatments and dental hygiene can always refer to the information pages on the Malo Clinic website and the dental health podcasts featuring Dr Larry Benge. All dental health podcasts can be listened to on the website or downloaded on iTunes.

The dental health podcasts featuring Dr Larry Benge can provide you with more information about other dental health topics as well. By listening to the Dr Larry Benge podcasts on the Malo Clinic website, you can find out more about dental tourism, dental implants, dental treatments and so much more. Be sure to listen to these podcasts if you want to gain some valuable tips on dental health!

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