Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment (endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (the pulp) is infected through decay, trauma, gum disease, etc. You may not feel any pain in the early stages of the infection or it can be very painful at first and then subside. In some cases your tooth could darken in colour, which may mean that the nerve of the tooth has died (or is dying). This would need root canal treatment.

The procedure

To treat the infection in the root canal, the bacteria need to be removed.
This can be done by either removing the tooth (extraction) or attempting to save it by removing the bacteria from the root canal (root canal treatment).
After the bacteria have been removed, the root canal will be filled and the tooth sealed with a filling or crown. In most cases, the inflamed tissue at the end of the tooth will heal naturally.
Before having root canal treatment, you will be given a local anesthetic if you cannot handle the pain.
Root canal treatment is usually successful. In about 9 out of 10 cases, a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.

How do I care for my tooth afterwards?

Root-treated teeth should be looked after just the same as any other tooth. Remember to clean your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste. Cut down on sugary foods and drinks, and have them only at mealtimes if possible. See your dental team as often as they recommend for regular check-ups.

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