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Jun 2022

What is a Root Canal Treatment on Front Teeth?

The term root canal treatment often fills people with dread but the simple fact is that the procedure is one of the most common treatments in dentistry with the sole aim of preserving the tooth for everyday function. With the advances in modern technology, materials and equipment, the procedure is often pain free and quick especially for front teeth. One of the greatest improvements seen recently is the advent of 3-D CBCT scanning of a tooth prior to root canal treatment. This will show the number of roots, canals, location of infection and any strange anatomy that simply cannot be seen on a 2-D x ray. The root canal dentist, or endodontist, thus knows what to expect before even starting treatment. A game changer!

Root canal on front tooth

Root canal on front teeth can be a little more straight forward than back teeth. The reason for this is that front teeth often have single or sometime two roots and are often quite straight. Back teeth, especially molar teeth, have three or four canals which can be curved, rotated, narrow or just plain tricky to find! One of the common reasons for infected root canals on front teeth is trauma such as a knock taken during sports or even due to grinding at night. We recommend wearing a sports guard for all contact sports and a night guard if there is any history of bruxism or teeth clenching whilst sleeping. After all, prevention is far better than cure!

How is a root canal done on a front tooth?

As discussed above, it is important to know the full history first, cause of infection, anatomy and likelihood of success. Once this information is known, treatment will involve:

1. Removal of all infected pulp tissue using rotary and hand instrumentation

2. Most endodontists will use a dental microscope for this which can provide high quality magnification and illumination for far greater results

3. The canals are thoroughly disinfected using chemical irrigants. At Progressive Dentistry, we also use dental laser , both diode and erbium, for even greater disinfection.

4. The canals are dried using paper points

5. Sealants are used and thermal obturation of the canals using gutta percha for a 3-D seal

6. The back of the front tooth will then be sealed using a composite white filling material.

Does a front tooth need a crown after a root canal treatment?

This is a very good question and then answer lies in whether the tooth has been badly damaged prior to treatment. If not, the access for the treatment is almost always on the inside surface. In this case, the cavity can be filled with a composite restoration and often left like that. This would be the best case scenario. If the front tooth had a large fracture or was badly damaged by tooth decay, a crown would be needed.

Will my front tooth go black after a root canal treatment?

Unfortunately, teeth will often discolour after root canal treatments which could be a big issue on a front tooth. The reason for this is due to the deposition of the pulp contents within the root dentine during treatment or even prior to. As tooth dentine is very porous, this material can be 'absorbed' quickly leading to discolouration. Treatments are available for this such as internal tooth bleaching.

Endodontist Dr Molina

All of our root canal treatments are completed by Dr Molina who is an expert at treating front and back teeth. All treatments are completed under our CJ Optik dental microscope and LED lighting. To book an appointment with Dr Molina for front tooth root canal , simply book online.