What is root canal treatment?
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. In the early stages of infection you may not feel any pain. In most cases the tooth will darken in colour, which would suggest that the nerve of the tooth has already died or in the process of dying. In which case the tooth will need root canal treatment. Root canal treatment in the past has had a poor image and patients often express concern that they have heard that root canal can be unpleasant. Modern endodontics, carried out with state of the art equipment is now a predictable and virtually pain free procedure.
Why Is Root Canal Treatment Needed?
When the pulp becomes infected, the infection spreads through the root canal and may cause an abscess (gumboil). An abscess is a localized area of pus around the tooth. An abscess can cause facial swelling and severe pain and if not treated the tooth may have to be taken out.
Does Root Canal Treatment Hurt?
No, a local anaesthetic is used to relieve the pain but in some cases the patient may feel some discomfort. It should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done. There may be some tenderness afterwards but this should gradually get less over time.
What Does Root Canal treatment Involve?
Root canal treatment involves two visits. At the first visit the infected tissue is removed and any abscess can be drained. The root canal is then cleaned and a temporary dressing is placed until the next visit. At the second visit the temporary dressing is removed and the canals are cleaned and shaped to receive the permanent filling.