Root canal treatment is undertaken to save a tooth that has been damaged by disease, trauma or deep decay.
Root canal treatment is sometimes necessary when you experience a severe toothache that cannot be fixed by a filling alone. This pain occurs when the nerves and dental pulp that nourishes and gives feeling to the tooth becomes infected or inflamed.
If a root canal treatment is not performed, the decay will infect the gums and the tooth will fall out. Symptoms of an infection includes:
- Darkening or discolouration of the tooth
- Swelling around the tooth
- Pain and sensitivity
- Inflamed gums
Inflammation or infection of the pulp can be attributed to tooth trauma or repeated dental procedures which may have caused damage to the tooth itself. When the nerves and dental pulp that nourishes and gives feeling to the tooth becomes infected or inflamed. This can happen due to:
- Gum disease
- Breakdown of an existing filling or crown
- Extreme wear of a tooth
- Extensive tooth decay
- Cracks or chips in the tooth
Root canal treatment usually the last way a tooth can be saved before it has to be extracted. We perform this treatment so that you can keep your natural tooth which is always more beneficial than a prosthetic solution. Without treatment, the tooth can develop an abscess. Left untreated the infection can damage the bone surrounding the root and this could result in the need for extraction. This is what root canal treatment is designed to prevent.
A thorough examination and assessment is carried out and your dentist will speak with you about your sedation and pain reduction options. Generally, a root canal involves the removal of the damaged or inflamed pulp and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The treatment is then completed with the placement of a filling or a crown. If the infection is severe, you may need multiple appointments before. That is why it’s important to visit your dentist twice a year so that we can identify problems before they progress.