Teeth can be lost through decay, damage or as a result of an accident. If you do lose a number of teeth, this can affect the function of remaining teeth as well as the aesthetics of your smile.
Root canal treatment is carried out to preserve a tooth that has become damaged as a result of bacterial infection. This is needed in case a large cavity in a tooth reaches the nerve chamber or in some cases when a tooth breaks. If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. If the tooth is left untreated, then the end result is likely to be tooth extraction.
The aim of the root canal treatment is to remove all the infection from the root canal. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, so you should not feel any pain or discomfort. The infected pulp will then be removed and the tooth cleaned. If you have a dental abscess, then this will also be drained. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection.
Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to your dentists. Root canal treatments are usually successful and if you look after the tooth, it should last for at least eight years.
After root canal treatment, your tooth may feel a little sensitive and it is a good idea to avoid hard and chewy foods for a few days. If your treatment is carried out over a period of time, it is still wise to avoid these types of foods because they may cause pain. If you experience pain after the procedure, take over the counter painkillers and the pain should subside very quickly.