A client came to see us who had been suffering from toothache. He said it had been keeping him awake at night and that it was tender to bite on. Whenever he had a tea or a coffee it also triggered the toothache.
On assessing the tooth, it had a very deep filling which was very close to the nerve which is in the middle of the tooth. When decay gets very close to the nerve the tooth will do one of three things; form a protective barrier; the nerve could die slowly or it could die quickly. When the decay in a tooth is originally so close to the nerve it is to hard to predict which of the three categories it will fall into. This particular filling was placed a year and a half ago so the nerve was gradually dieing.
When a tooth gets to this stage there are two options; extraction or root canal therapy. The pateint was very keen to save the tooth so the desicison was to provide root canal therapy. This is a way to save the tooth and keep it in place. Root canal therapy involves cleaning the inside of the tooth where the infected nerve lies and sterilising it. The canals are then filled with a special rubber seal and the tooth is then restored. Quite often the tooth will require a crown to protect it as root canal therapy can often leave the tooth dry and brittle.
On the treatment day, the patient was made very comfortable with anaesthetic so he did not feel anything while treatment was carried out in one visit. A very pleased and pain-free patient!