The aim of root canal treatment is too save a tooth that has been damaged due to decay, injury, infection or inflammation of the nerve pulp.
Causes of Inflammation or infection
- A deep cavity in the tooth
- The breakdown of a filling
- A crack in the tooth
- Accident or trauma
- Repeated dental work
- Periodontal or gum disease
- Swelling and/or pain
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Tooth discoloration
The removal of the infected or irritated nerve tissue that lies within the canal of the root of the tooth. It is this infected pulp tissue that eventually causes an abscess.
- The first step is to obtain access to the nerve by making a small access hole, while removing any decay. This will be done with local anaesthetic.
- A specially designed file is the used to remove the damaged or infected pulp as well as clean and reshape the root canal.
Any infection may also be treated with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial or antibiotic medications. An x-ray will be taken with the file inside the tooth to determine the length of the canal and ensure the treatment extends to the apex of the tooth.
- The final step in your root canal treatment will be the sealing of the root canal with a sterile plastic material called gutta percha. This is done in order to prevent possible future infection. A filling is placed to seal off the access hole and restore the tooth
The number of appointments required depends on the complexity of the treatment and condition of the tooth. The filling of the canal is usually done on a separate appointment to ensure there is no infection or inflammation present.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.