Root canal treatment, also known as endodontics, involves removing infected pulp from the innermost part of the tooth. This prevents the infection from spreading and can help save a tooth that may otherwise have to be extracted.
The pulp, made up of soft tissues, can become infected due to decay, a deep filling or other trauma. Symptoms can include pain, increased sensitivity to temperature, discolouration, gum tenderness or swelling. Removing the infected pulp ensures it does not cause any further problems to your dental health.
Benefits of root canal treatment
- Removes a source of infection that could spread to other areas
- Can save an infected tooth from extraction
- Prevents further problems that could be caused by losing a tooth
- Can relieve toothache and other symptoms
- Less expensive than replacing a lost tooth
What does the treatment involve?
Root canal treatment usually requires several appointments. It has a reputation for being painful, but treatment should be no more uncomfortable than having a normal filling. Between appointments, the tooth will be covered and temporarily restored.
We will take an initial x-ray to check the root canals and see if there are any other signs of infection in the surrounding bone.
We place a rubber sheet around your tooth to keep it dry and use local anaesthetic to ensure you are comfortable during treatment. We then remove the infected pulp.
We will then flush the root canals with an antibacterial solution. We use tiny instruments to shape the canals and wash them to remove any debris. We will seal the tooth to prevent bacteria from entering. A permanent filling is used, but you may need a crown to help restore tooth shape.
If looked after properly, your root canal treated tooth should stay trouble-free and provide a long lasting repair. Regular check ups with your dentist are recommended so any problems can be detected early.