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Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Teeth are held in the jaws by their roots. Front teeth normally have one root and teeth further back have more. At the core of each tooth is a soft mass of tissue called the pulp. In a health tooth the pulp contains living fibres, cells, nerves and a blood supply extending into the roots through the root canals.

This is a procedure, also known as endodontic treatment involves the removal of pulp from a diseased or injured tooth. The pulp is the tooth’s ‘living tissue’. If the pulp of the tooth is diseased or injured, it cannot repair itself and will eventually die. The most common cause of pulp death is a cracked tooth or a deep cavity. In such cases, bacteria can enter the pulp, causing an infection inside the tooth. Pain and swelling will result, an abscess may form and the jaw bones may become injured.

You will be given a local anaesthetic and then an opening is made through the top of the tooth down to the pulp. Once the pulp is removed and the inside of the roots shaped, the canal is dried with paper cones. The canal(s) are then the goal of the filling procedure is to hermetically seal off the tooth against bacteria.

Before root canal treatment was available, such teeth had to be removed however this procedure now allows them to be saved. Treatment can involve up to two visits to your dentist. Teeth that have had root canal can become brittle and are susceptible to fracture. In most cases, it is advisable to have a crown (cap) placed over a tooth that has had root canal to rebuild and protect it.

What Are The Benefits?

Pulp damage can cause toothache but the pain will usually end very quickly when the root canal is cleaned out. Without a root filling a tooth with a dead pulp probably have to be extracted in the end and there is also a possibility that the infection can spread beyond the tooth itself.