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A root canal procedure is usually performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected which may present with signs of mild to severe pain, tooth discolouration, swelling in the surrounding gum, as well as visible sign of infection will be present on x-ray. One chooses to do a root canal procedure in order to try and save the affected tooth and preserve the functionality of the tooth. A root canal can become infected for several reasons, including severe tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or from a leaking filling.

Located inside each tooth is a pulp chamber that funnels into root canals that house nerve fibres, blood and lymph tissue. During the procedure the Doctor will gain access to the root canals by drilling a small hole on the top biting surface of your tooth, the root canals are then hollowed out using nickel titanium hand files and rotary instruments, and cleaned using a special disinfecting solution. Thereafter the canals are filled with a filling material, this preserves the life of the canals, and the initial access hole is filled with a composite filling.

All root canal treatments are performed under microscope magnification.

After a suitable healing period the tooth will need to be crowned as the tooth is no longer vital as the nerve has been removed, you will no longer be able to judge pressure on that tooth and the tooth become brittle, leaving that tooth at risk of breaking if it is not crowned.


SADA - South African Dental Association
SAAAD - South African Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry
HPCSA - Health Professions Council of South Africa
AAED - American Association of Esthetic Dentistry
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