White filling material lets us repair your broken and chipped teeth so you can now avoid a mouth full of metal. It’s possible to have invisible fillings so your teeth continue to look intact and healthy although sometimes, with large fillings, a silver filling is unavoidable.
Inside a tooth is a fine space called the root canal. The root canal contains the dental pulp which consists of nerves and blood vessels. If the dental pulp becomes diseased or dies a toothache or an abscess may occur. In the past these problem teeth were extracted but now your dentist can offer you root canal treatment to care for these teeth.
A number of conditions can lead to irreversible damage of the dental pulp.
Sometimes there is no apparent cause.
Before starting the treatment your dentist will require an examination with x-rays and special tests to assess the health of the dental pulp and surrounding tissues. Sometime it is quite difficult to identify which tooth is the cause of pain. Usually a latex sheet called a rubber dam is placed around the tooth to isolate it from the mouth. Then access to the root canals is gained by drilling a hole through the top of the tooth. The root canal is measured for length and then cleaned and shaped with fine dental files. The root canals are also washed with sterilising solution. The root canals are then sealed near to their tip with a permanent filling. The tooth is then restored back into useful function.
Teeth requiring root canal treatment often have large fillings or extensive damage and will require a crown to restore them properly. These teeth are also weaker and the added protection of a crown is recommended.
There are many myths about root canals, but generally it is a pain free treatment. However it is a long treatment and you will have to lie with your mouth open for a considerable time. Two visits may be required to complete the treatment, especially if the tooth is infected. The roots of some teeth are very twisted which can make root canal difficult. As a result , sometimes your dentist may need to refer you to a specialist who only does root canal, and who generally works on your tooth under microscope. The specialist is called an endodontist. Following root canal, your tooth will be more brittle (similar to a dead tree) and generally will need to be crowned to add support
When a tooth has suffered from a lot of decay or damage, or been root-filled, a crown is advised to cap the tooth and protect it so it stays healthy and strong.
Another option for filling a gap after a tooth has been extracted. A replacement tooth is held in place.