Root canal treatment is needed when a decay is left untreated for a long time and the infection gets into the root of the tooth. You will need to see a dentist such as Joondalup City Dental to treat the tooth to remove the pulp where the nerve is. This essentially leaves the tooth without feeling and it will lose its colour and go greyish, but it will remain in the socket and can be used for many more years.
This is better than the alternative of having it pulled out and missing the use of the tooth, which will impact your ability to chew food properly. And if the tooth is visible when you smile, you’ll have an unsightly gap there, so you’ll want to have a part-plate made to replace it and this will be a further expense, not to mention it takes a while to get used to having a plate.
When you have root canal treatment, the dentist will drill a hole into the root and remove any old filling, decayed tooth and the pulp and nerve, which is found inside the canal of the tooth’s root. Naturally enough, you will need to have one or more needles to numb it for this first treatment. After that, with all the nerve removed you won’t feel any pain, so that’s one good thing.
Once all the pulp in the root is removed, the infection in the cavity must be treated. This is done by irrigating the area with a saline solution and adding an antiseptic wash. The cavity will then be filled with a temporary filling to prevent food getting in it and going bad there.
This procedure must be repeated several times over some weeks to ensure the cavity is properly disinfected. Once the dentist sees the infection is gone, he or she has to ensure the sides of the canal are smooth so the final filling will fit in with no irregularities. The whole root cavity must be filled with the filling medium to ensure food or infection can never get back in.
While the tooth will lose its whiteness, the process will be so gradual you’ll barely notice it. The tooth may need to be fitted with a crown to ensure the filling is never damaged and that the tooth is strong enough to bite and chew on.
If you feel when the tooth goes grey that you don’t like the look of it, whitening the tooth will not work. Instead, you can discuss having some kind of cosmetic dental treatment such as a veneer placed over it.
Symptoms of root canal infection include severe pain when unprovoked or when biting or chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold, gum or facial swelling or pus oozing from the gum. But in some cases there are no symptoms.