Root canal treatment is a procedure, which may be called into action when the tooth pulp becomes infected or injured. The pulp lies beneath the enamel and dentine layers and contains the living tissue of the tooth, including the blood vessels and the nerves. Once an infection reaches the pulp, there is often only one alternative to root canal treatment and this is extraction.
The root canals are narrow channels, which run from the top of the pulp chamber to the tip of the root.
What happens when you have root canal treatment?
The aim of root canal treatment is to remove decayed pulp tissue and clear the root canals to prevent an infection spreading. In order to do this, your dentist will drill into the tooth to access the root canals, clear all the decayed tissue away and then clean the root canals thoroughly. All this will be done under local anaesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain at all.
Once the root canals are clear and clean, they will be filled using gutta percha, a dental material. Filling the root canals helps to reduce the risk of bacteria spreading into the roots.
In most cases of root canal treatment, it’s advisable to replace the tooth crown with a new crown; this helps to protect the tooth from further injury or damage. Crowns are custom-made and they sit on top of your natural tooth; we recommend ceramic crowns for a natural looking aesthetic.
Does root canal treatment hurt?
There is a popular belief that root canal treatment is very painful and unpleasant, but our dentists are highly skilled and they use their expertise to prevent discomfort. The tooth is numbed using local anaesthetic beforehand, so you won’t feel any pain. Many of our patients dread the procedure coming in and leave wondering what all the fuss was about! If you’re a nervous patient, don’t hesitate to mention this to your dentist, so they can take extra special care of you and help you to feel less anxious.