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Root Canal


Each tooth is made up of three layers, the enamel, dentin and the pulp which is the core of the tooth. The tissues and nerves are situated in the pulp of the tooth. When a tooth is damaged or cracked, the pulp can become exposed. If exposed, the nerves cause extreme toothache and the tissues may become infected.

A root canal is a treatment for an infection in the tooth's pulp which can be painful and lead to dental decay. If infected, Dr Sagathavan may suggest root canal treatment (or endodontic surgery) which involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth's root. A root canal is done to save the tooth that otherwise would need extraction.

What to expect during a root canal

It is important to contact your dentist if you damage a tooth in any way as this damage may have exposed the pulp of the tooth without your knowledge. With a closer look, Dr Sagathavan may be able to fix the tooth immediately, saving the tooth from further damage and preventing an infection in the first place. If you think you need a root canal, consult your dentist. There are a number of steps that occur over a few office visits.

  1. X-ray - if your dentist suspects you may need a root canal, he will first take X-rays or examine existing X-rays to show where the decay is located.
  2. Anesthesia - local anesthesia is then administered to the affected tooth. Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is no more painful than a filling
  3. Pulpectomy - an opening is made and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.
  4. Filling - the roots that have been opened (to get rid of the disease pulp) are filled with gutta-percha material and sealed off with cement.

Oral care tips after a root canal

A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. Root canals have a high success rate. Here are a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:

  • Practice good oral hygiene - brush teeth twice a day, and floss at least once. Taking care of your teeth can help prevent future problems.
  • Root treated tooth/teeth requires a post/ pin and a dental crown for strength.
  • Consult your dentist with regards to the above.
  • Visit the dentist regularly - cleanings and examinations by dentists.

Wakesleigh Medical Centre

Address: Wakesleigh Medical Centre,
251 Wakesleigh Road, Bellair, Durban

Tel: 031 465 4020

Email: dr.levan@yahoo.com

Hillary Dental

Address: Hillary Dental, Hillary Shopping Centre, 120 Stella Road, Durban

Tel: 031 465 4020

Email: dr.levan@yahoo.com

Durdoc Medical Centre

Address:1118 Durdoc Hospital,
460 Anton Lembede Street, Durban

Tel: 031 304 6688

Email: dr.levan@yahoo.com