Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury.
If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess. If root canal treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread leading to systemic complications and the tooth may need to be taken out.
Root canal treatment is performed under a local anaesthetic and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.
The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to our clinic.
At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle. The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.
In the past, a root filled tooth would often darken after treatment. However, with modern techniques this does not usually happen. If there is any discolouration, there are several treatments available to restore the natural appearance. Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, if the infection comes back the treatment can be repeated.
The alternative is to have the tooth out (extraction). Once the pulp is destroyed, it can’t heal and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. Although some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.
Root canal treatment is a routine dental procedure, which we will be happy to do for you in chair. After the tooth is root canal treated It is better to restore the tooth with a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.
Post treatment- Root-treated teeth should be treated just the same as any other tooth. Remember to clean your teeth at least once a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste. Cut down on sugary snacks, and keep them only to mealtimes if possible.
Our dentist Dr. Sudhir Shivanna has 3 years additional training in performing root canal treatments so you can be sure you are in safe hands.