When a tooth is infected, there is a danger of the infection spreading and causing such extensive damage that there is little choice but to extract the tooth. Root canal treatment is a procedure, which can be used to save an infected tooth and prevent the need for extraction.
What does root canal treatment involve?
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure, which aims to rid a tooth of infection and stop the infection spreading. It involves removing decayed tissue from the root canals, cleaning, filling and sealing them to prevent bacteria from reaching the rest of the tooth. Root canal treatment is carried out once the tooth has been numbed using local anaesthetic and this ensures that you don’t feel any pain during treatment. Your dentist will then drill into the teeth and clear the decayed tissue from the root canals; once they have been cleaned thoroughly, they will be filled with gutta percha, a dental filling material, and then sealed. It is then commonplace to fit a new crown, although a temporary crown is usually placed over the tooth at this stage. A permanent crown is usually fitted around 2 weeks after.
Why would I need root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is generally recommended when a dental infection has reached the pulp tissue of the tooth; the pulp contains the living tissue of the tooth, including the nerves and blood vessels and once it is infected, there is a risk that the tooth will die and an increased risk of the infection spreading and contributing to the formation of dental abscesses. Root canal treatment is a means of saving the tooth, as well as preventing patients from developing abscesses, which can be extremely painful.
Is root canal treatment painful?
Many patients recoil in terror when they hear the words root and canal in the same sentence, but this is actually a very effective procedure and we numb the tooth first, so you won’t feel any pain. We do everything we can to make you feel relaxed and in the majority of cases, patients leave thinking it was much less scary than they thought!