Root canal treatments fall under a field of dentistry called endodontics. In fact, that’s why the procedure is often referred to as an endodontic treatment or endodontic therapy.
The goal of a root canal treatment is to allow you to keep a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted because the nerve has deteriorated. Tooth pulp (the nerve) can degrade for a number of reasons, though the most common causes are deep cavities, damaged fillings or injury.
Pain: a telltale sign
An infection occurs when bacteria make their way through cracks or cavities and reach the centre of your tooth. This can even lead to an abscess.
Most of the time, exposed pulp is sensitive to hot and cold, and causes constant pain that’s particularly bad when you chew. You may also notice swelling, have trouble sleeping and experience general malaise.
Removing the infected pulp (or “devitalizing” it) will relieve your discomfort and prevent your oral health from deteriorating.
A typical root canal treatment
Devitalizing a tooth isn’t more uncomfortable than getting a filling. Our dentists use their expert skill with care and precision to keep you feeling calm.
Before getting started, we’ll administer local anaesthetic, which will make the procedure painless. The treated tooth will need a filling or crown.
The treatment occasionally increases a tooth’s sensitivity, but only for a few weeks. If the area is swollen or tender after the procedure, be sure to let us know. Sometimes a second treatment is needed.
The takeaway: a root canal treatment will relieve symptoms and allow you to keep your tooth.