Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment, also called endodontics, is needed when the tooth is infected through decay or injury. You may not feel any pain in the early stages of the infection, your tooth could darken in colour, which may mean that the nerve of the tooth has died or is dying.
The infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may lead to an abscess.
An abscess is an inflamed area in which pus collects and can cause swelling of the tissues around the tooth. The symptoms: a dull ache to severe pain, the tooth may be tender when you bite. If root canal treatment is not done, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.
Does root canal treatment hurt?
No, it doesn’t. Usually, a local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done. There may be some tenderness afterwards but this should gradually get less over time.
Please remember! Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve more than two visits to your dentist.
The infected nerve is removed and any abscesses can be drained. The root canal is then cleaned, shaped and ready for the filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.
The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.
Please remember! A root-filled tooth often darken after treatment. If there is any discolouration, there are several treatments that will restore the natural appearance: internal bleaching, white crown, veneer.
Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, if the infection comes back, the treatment can sometimes be repeated.
The alternative is to have the tooth out. Once the nerve is destroyed it can't heal, and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth.
Although some people would prefer to have the tooth out, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.
A ‘dead' tooth is more brittle, you may need to have a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.
How much does endodontic treatment cost?
The expense of an endodontic procedure varies depending on how severe the problem is and the type of tooth. Molars with two or three canals are more difficult to treat and the fee will therefore be more.