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What is root canal treatment?

Inside the tooth there is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels and if it becomes inflamed or infected, it is necessary to remove it. This is what we call root canal, or endodontic treatment.

When is it necessary to make root canal treatment?

The goal of root canal treatment is to save a tooth that might otherwise require extraction.  Pain, tenderness to touch and chewing or sensitivity to hot or cold liquids are the most common symptom of needing a root canal. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms or warnings.

After an examination and x-ray evaluation, the dentist can decide whether a tooth needs root canal therapy.

How do we perform root canal treatment?

First the dentist administers local anaesthesia to numb the tooth. Then a hole is drilled through the tooth or crown and the dentist uses special dental files to remove damaged and infected tissue and disinfects the canals. Sometimes medication is put into the pulp chamber, which is then closed with a temporary filling until the next treatment. The canals may be reshaped before the permanent filling is done. The final stage is to decide how to restore the tooth. A root canal treated tooth has often a large filling or is weakened from extensive decay. The dentist might therefore suggest a crown to protect the tooth from future damage.