Firstly what is a root canal?
A tooth is hard on the outside and soft on the inside! The soft bit is the nerve and blood supply called the ‘pulp’. The pulp exists in a canal or chamber called the ‘root canal’ in the middle of the tooth and tooth root. It detects cracks and cavities and gives you a warning sign that there is a problem in the form of toothache! Sometimes the crack or cavity is bad enough to cause either irreversible toothache or infect the pulp leading to an ‘abscess’. An abscess is a severe infection of the tooth and surrounding tissues of the jaw. An abscess is extremely uncomfortable and distressing and may lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment involves removing the dead or infected pulp and disinfecting the pulp chamber, i.e. the root canal, and then sealing it with a filling material, thereby saving the tooth. The treated tooth is still whole but minus the nerve and blood supply. Root filled teeth are no longer sensitive to temperature but you can still feel the normal pressure of biting since the ligament that surrounds the tooth root is still alive.
Root fillings (i.e. root canal treatments) have a remarkably high success rate of approximately 97% after 5 years. The most common cause of failure is them breaking due to the tooth being brittle and weakened from having the root canal treatment. Consequently to prevent this happening, it is wise to fit the root filled tooth with a strong restoration such as a crown after ensuring the treatment has been successful.
Usually after 6 months the tooth is reviewed and if the root canal treatment is successful, a crown should be made and fitted. A crown is a new outer shell made in a dental laboratory to cover the biting surface of the tooth making it very strong. It is tooth coloured and crafted artistically making the tooth look good as new.
Emergency Root Canal Treatment in Bournemouth
We can see you as an emergency patient if you have toothache and think you may have an abscess or need a root canal treatment. You can also refer to our Dental Emergency page which provides you with useful information on toothache.
See our section on Signs and Symptoms to help you decide whether you need to see a dentist.
Call us on 01202 443882.