Endodontic or root canal treatment as it is also known is required when the pulp inside the root or roots of your teeth becomes infected as a result of accidental damage or decay.
If the infection is not removed it can spread through the root canal system of the tooth and cause an abscess. This can be extremely painful and can lead to damage in the bone around the tooth. Even if the abscess is painless, if left untreated it may compromise any further treatment planned on the tooth, such as crowns.
Endodontic treatment involves removing the infected pulp and filling the root canals. The root canals are extremely small and are rarely straight, which is why it is often better to be treated by someone with the necessary finely-tuned skills and specialist equipment.
The treatment may take more than one visit to complete. First the tooth and surrounding area is made numb so you won’t feel any pain. All the infected pulp is removed and sealed with a special filling material which helps to prevent potential problems in the future. Sometimes, the first filling is temporary, and the canals are filled permanently once the area that was infected has settled down. If the tooth is left weakened by decay, your dentist may recommend fitting a crown to strengthen it.
Endodontic treatment can save your tooth, enabling you to keep it for many more years to come.