Measuring and Cleaning the Root Canals

Measuring

Your gentle dentist at Always Smiles Dental Surgery in Canley Heights will make the patient comfortable by numbing the area around the tooth with local anesthetic. This ensures that the patient does not feel anything during the whole procedure.

The dentist will make a hole in the top or back of your tooth to get to the pulp chamber to remove the diseased pulp.

X-rays or an electric device called an apex locator measures the length of the root canal, this is important as it ensures that the whole canal is completely cleaned out. A file will be placed in the root canal before the X-ray to assist measurements. An apex locator measures a root canal based on the resistance to a small electric current.

Cleaning

Once measurements are completed, your gentle dentist at Always Smiles Dental Surgery located near Cabramatta uses special tools remove the diseased pulp. The canal is cleaned with antiseptic to prevents infection. All the canals must be cleaned. Different teeth have different numbers of canals and as always these numbers vary from individual to individual, but as a basic rule:

  • The top front teeth have one canal.
  • The bottom front teeth have one or two canals.
  • The premolars have one or two canals.
  • The molars have three or four canals.
  • The location and shape of the canals can also vary significantly.

Once thoroughly cleaned the roots are filled. And the tooth will be restored by the friendly dentist at Always Smiles Dental Surgery in Canley Vale with a permanent filling or crown.

Subsequently the tooth will probably need a crown. This will help restore the tooth’s strength and protect it from cracking. If a crown is warranted then the dentist will advise the patient however it is best not to delay this as the crown needs to be in place as soon as possible.

The pulp removed is your receptor for temperature. Your sensitivity to hot/cold will be lost. Tissues and nerves are still present around the tooth and your tooth will still respond to pressure and touch.

After Root Canal Treatment

As with most invasive medical or dental procedures, complications can occur. Here are some possibilities.

Bacteria may deposit in the root canal when opened for treatment. Swelling and pain can smetime be noticeable.

Blood vessels enter the tooth through a small hole at the bottom of the root. Sometimes during a root canal procedure, bacteria enter this hole into surrounding tissue. The surrounding tissue will become inflamed and possibly infected, this can be treated by your gentle dentist with painkillers or antibiotics.

Locating root canals can be complicated and if not cleaned properly the tooth will stay infected. And sometimes there are little side canals in the tooth that cannot be cleaned which will allow bacteria to reinfect the pulp space. In these rare instances a root canal treatment may not be successful.

Sometimes the tip of a file breaks off inside the canal space, every effort will be made to remove the broken piece, however if the canal is clean, sometimes the piece can be left in place. If the canal is not completely clean and the broken the file cannot be removed normally than it may be removed in certain cases via a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. A small incision is made in the gum and the dentist shaves off the bottom of the root hoping to remove the file piece.