Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure to treat infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal system). Root canal treatment is also called endodontics.
The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth when:
A tooth is made up of two parts:
These are composed of the following structures:
The root canal system contains the dental pulp and extends from the crown of the tooth to the end of the root. A single tooth can have more than one root canal.
The pulp is made up of soft tissue that includes nerves and blood vessels. If bacteria infect the pulp, it will begin to die. After this, the bacteria can increase in number. The bacteria and the substances they release will eventually pass out of the end of the root canal through the small hole where the blood vessels and nerves enter.
This process continues as there is nothing to stop more bacteria passing down the root canal, which causes the tissues around the end of the tooth to become red and swollen. This can cause your tooth to become painful and, in extreme circumstances, your face may become swollen (dental abscess).
Learn more about when root canal treatment should be done.
To treat the infection in the root canal, the bacteria need to be removed. This can be done by:
In root canal treatment, once the bacteria are removed, the root canal is filled and the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown. In most cases, the inflamed tissue at the end of the tooth will heal naturally.
Learn more about how root canal treatment is performed.
Root canal treatment should not be painful because a local anaesthetic is normally given, it should be no more unpleasant than having a filling. The procedure is usually successful. In about 9 out of 10 cases, a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.
It is important to look after your teeth when recovering from root canal treatment. You should also avoid biting on hard foods until all treatment is complete.
Most people can help prevent the need for further root canal treatment by:
In caries that have progressed to the nerve of the tooth
In cases where fractures involving the nerve of the tooth occur as a result of trauma
In cases where the tooth loses its vitality as a result of excessive force on the tooth as a result of orthodontic treatment
In advanced gum disease
In the elimination of sensitivity caused by advanced wear on the teeth
High filled fillings or dentures are also required.
Cold-hot sensitivity in your teeth
Pain during the day without any stimuli
If you have pain while eating and after
Color change in your teeth as a result of nerve death
Swelling on your face as a result of abscess formation
In some cases, it is understood that treatment is required in the dental and radiological examinations performed without any symptoms.