Modern root canal treatment is routine and painless and it can make all the difference between keeping or losing your tooth.
Root canal treatment is usually recommended when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected, either through decay or injury. The pulp is the soft bit inside the tooth, and runs right through the root, carrying the nerve supply and nutrients. If the infection is not removed, it can cause an abscess, which can be extremely painful, and damage the bone around the tooth. Without treatment, the tooth is likely to have to be removed.
Root canal treatment is not really that different than having a routine filling but because the area we are treating is so small, it takes a great deal of skill and patience and will require a slightly longer appointment. This, combined with the need to let the infected tooth settle down before we complete the treatment, means you may need two or three appointments with us.
During the first visit we will need to remove the infected pulp. We numb the tooth and the surrounding area first so that you do not feel any pain, and then use special tiny tools to take the infected pulp away. We also shape the root canal so it is easier to fill. Where possible we will try to complete the treatment in one visit.
If the tooth needs to settle down, we will give it a temporary filling. Sometimes this will include medication to help destroy any germs and prevent further infection.
On your next visit we will examine the tooth to ensure that the infection has cleared properly, and will replace the temporary filling with a permanent one.
We will often recommend that your tooth is crowned to help strengthen it.
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