Root canal treatment

Root canal, or endodontic, treatment is required when the pulp inside the root or roots or your teeth becomes infected as a result of accidental damage or decay.

If the infection is not removed it can spread through the root canal system of the tooth and can cause an abscess. This can be extremely painful and can lead to damage in the bone around the tooth. Even if the abscess is painless, if left untreated it may compromise any further treatment planned on the tooth, such as crowns.

Root canal treatment involves removing the infected pulp and filling the root canals. The root canals are extremely small and are rarely straight, which is why it is often better to be treated by someone with the necessary finely-tuned skills and specialist equipment. The treatment may take more than one visit to complete. First the tooth and surrounding area are made numb so you won't feel any pain. All the infected pulp is removed; the canals are cleaned with strong antiseptics and then sealed.

Sometimes, the first filling is temporary, and the canals are filled permanently once the area that was infected has settled down. If the tooth is left weakened, your dentist may recommend fitting a crown to strengthen it. Root canal treatment is a great way to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be taken out.