Root fillings using microscope
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure to treat infection at the centre of a tooth. In root canal treatment, once the bacteria are removed, the root canal is shaped and sterilised then filled and the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown.
A root filling is a very different concept to a filling on the part of the tooth you can see. The function of a normal filling in a tooth is to restore the look and the function of the tooth, usually after removal of decay. A root filling is used to save the tooth. The only alternative is extraction of the tooth.
What is the process?
- If you have an emergency appointment for pain we start the root filling process off by removing the pulp, which is the soft inner part of the tooth that has become inflamed or infected. By removing the pulp and applying a dressing, the pain goes away.
- A root filling involves removing the infected tissue in the root canals and pulp chamber that cause pain or an abscess. After this, the root canals are shaped and cleaned. The root canals are then filled to remove all the space where bacteria could grow.
- No dentist can guarantee a root filling will save the tooth. That is because we don’t have the blueprint for every tooth and there may be spaces or extra root canals we cannot identify where bacteria can continue to grow. That having been said, our success rates are very high. If you wish, there is always the option of being referred to a specialist for the root filling.
- Teeth that are root filled become brittle and we always recommend a strong restoration on top to protect the cusps of the tooth from fracture, which is nearly always a crown.
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