root canal treatment

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Root canal therapy

Root canal therapy, or endodontics, is the treatment to remove an infection, and often the damaged nerve, deep inside the root of a tooth. It’s a painless modern treatment to save teeth that would otherwise have to be taken out, allowing you to keep your own teeth.

What is a root canal?

Inside each tooth is a tube that runs from the end of the root to a chamber inside the crown. This is the root canal and inside the canal is the tooth’s blood and nerve supply, known as the ‘pulp’. The incisor and canine teeth normally have one root and one root canal. Premolar teeth can have one or two roots, and molars two or three, with up to five separate root canals.

Why do I need root canal therapy?

Bacteria can get into this chamber either from dental decay or directly from the mouth if a filling is lost. Once bacteria are established, blood supply to the nerve diminishes and the tooth begins to die. When this happens the only way to save the tooth is to remove the infection and dying nerve – a procedure called root canal therapy. Unfortunately antibiotics alone can’t kill the bacteria and the only option, other than root canal therapy, is to have the tooth extracted. Sometimes root canal therapy is also used to save a tooth a tooth with a large filling or crown or one that has suffered trauma.

What's involved in root canal therapy?

In root canal therapy, the pulp and nerve tissue are removed from inside the root canals. The canals are then thoroughly cleaned, then filled and sealed with a special rubber material. After successful treatment, the tooth will require restoration with either a simple filling or a crown/ onlay depending on how much of your own tooth tissue remains