A root canal treatment is necessary to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. When a tooth becomes infected, the nerve and pulp inside of the tooth is removes, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed in order to prevent future infections. Without root canal treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
The term “root canal” is used to describe the natural cavity within in the centre of the tooth. The pulp is the soft area within the root canal that consists of nerves. When a tooth's nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. A tooth's nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
Root canal treatments are performed to relieve the severe pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation of infection. With anaesthetics, most patients report that they feel comfortable during the procedure, and that the pain – if any – is no worse than that of a simple extraction.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your treatment is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days, contact us immediately.