Root Canal Treatment is a dental procedure that removes the nerve or dental pulp of the tooth. This is often required when the nerve of a tooth has been damaged by trauma or more commonly tooth decay. Often Root Canal Therapy is the alternative to tooth extraction and often required to retain/save a damaged tooth.
All Dentists are trained in Root Canal Therapy procedures, however patients may also be referred to an Endodontist, a dental specialist who specialises in Root Canal Therapy procedures. Root Canal Therapy may be required if the nerve or pulp of a tooth has become infected or irreversibly inflamed. Infections and inflammation can occur due to:
An infected/traumatised tooth can be very painful, and may/may not be associated with swelling which can either be localised or in more severe cases swelling which extends into the surrounding tissues. The tooth is often sore to pressure, for example biting and also to thermal changes. An infected tooth may also cause a level of discomfort that wakes a patient from their sleep and which is not necessarily relieved by analgesics.
Root canal therapy can help by extracting the infected pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal, and filling it to avoid re-infection.