What are root fillings?
Teeth are held in the jaw by their roots, which have nerves inside of them. When there is decay or an injury, it can cause the root to die, which can result in an abscess at the end of the tooth. Root fillings involve removing damaged or dead nerves and filling the space. This allows your dentist to repair the tooth that is left.
What does this treatment involve?
- Firstly, your dentist will x-ray the tooth, to identify any signs of infection in the surrounding bone and whether this treatment would be suitable for you, depending upon the shape of the tooth roots
- To ensure that this treatment is painless, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth
- Your dentist may apply a sheet of thin rubber around the tooth, which will be attached to a metal or plastic frame outside the mouth. This is to ensure that the root canal is kept dry during the treatment
- In order to see the opening of the root canal, your dentist will make a hole in the tooth. A narrow file will then be used to find the root canals and take out any dead nerves
- Your dentist will then fill the roots and apply a paste, so that it will set hard
- You may need to take some mild painkillers after the treatment, as the tooth may still feel tender for one or two days
What are the benefits of root fillings?
- Successful root fillings can last for many years
- Root fillings can stop the severe pain that is caused by nerve damage
- This treatment can prevent a tooth with a dead nerve from being extracted