Root canal therapy or endodontic therapy is the name for a set of procedures done when the nerve or pulp of a tooth has become infected or it is not able to recover from injury i.e. ‘dying’.
Root canal treatment removes the infected or dying nerve tissue as well as bacteria from inside the channels inside the tooth (canals), therefore preventing the infection from spreading throughout the jawbone.
A tooth can survive and function without a nerve so tooth loss, which can lead to unwanted complications such as difficulty with chewing, tilting of teeth and compromised aesthetics, can be avoided.
During root canal procedures, dental anaesthetic is used so the procedure should feel little different from an ordinary filling. There may be some initial discomfort after the procedure, especially if it is a severely infected tooth with a highly inflamed pulp, as the medicaments work and the area heals. Our team will strive to make the procedure as comfortable as possible for you.
Root canal treatment is often done in stages. During the first stage, our dentist will carefully remove the bulk of the infected nerve tissue and will place an antibiotic inside the tooth to control the infection. This is done through an access point through the top of the tooth—most of the time through an existing filling. If there is decay on the tooth or a defective filling the dentist will remove the affected part of the tooth and place a temporary filling.
Subsequent root canal appointments will see the dentist shape the channels or canals inside the tooth to remove as much bacteria as possible. The final stage involves sealing the channels so that bacteria cannot re-enter them and cause future infection. Once your root canal is completed a final restoration will be placed. This is often a dental crown as completely covering up the tooth will provide the maximum protection.