Within the tooth lies the pulp. This is the soft tissue of the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue.
The pulp can get infected as a result of deep decay, which allows the ingress of bacteria, which leads to infection. This infection will cause pain and swelling if left untreated. It may also cause damage to the surrounding bone.
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, injured or dead pulp from your tooth.
- The patient is given a local anesthetic
An access cavity (opening) is made through the crown of the tooth to get to the pulp chamber.
- The pulp is removed and the pulp chamber is cleaned with the use of fine instruments called files.
- The pulp canals are cleaned, shaped and enlarged.
- Medications may be put in the pulp chamber and canal to disinfect it and prevent further infection.
- A temporary filling is placed on the crown of the tooth to protect it between dental visits. The dentist may prescribe an oral antibiotic depending on the severity of infection.
- On the next visit the temporary filling materials removed and the root canals and pulp chambers are completely sealed with a filling material
- The tooth will need to be protected after the root canal treatment. Placing a crown over the tooth is necessary to ensure that your restored tooth lasts you for a long time- possibly even a lifetime if you care for your teeth and gums.