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 that can be used to save an infected tooth and prevent the need for extraction.
What does the root canal treatment procedure involve?
The root canal treatment procedure aims to rid a tooth of infection and stop the infection spreading. It includes removing decayed tissue from the root canals and 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. We will then 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 crown, although a temporary crown is usually placed over the tooth at this stage. A brand new crown is normally fitted about two weeks later.
Why would I have to have 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 blood vessels and nerves 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.
Does root canal treatment hurt?
Some patients recoil in terror when you say the words root and canal in the same sentence, but this is actually a very successful procedure and we numb the tooth first, so you won’t feel any discomfort. We endeavor to make you feel comfortable and in the majority of cases, patients leave thinking it was much less scary than they thought!