Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that is used to treat infection when it occurs at the centre of a tooth, in the root canal system. This area of dentistry is known as ‘endodontic treatment’.
Bacteria that invade from the mouth usually cause infection inside the tooth. This may happen after:
An episode of tooth decay
Fillings that are leaking
Trauma to the tooth as a result of an accident
The area requiring treatment is that part of the root canal system that contains the dental pulp and extends from the crown of the tooth to the root. There might be more than one root canal for any single tooth.
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The ‘pulp’ is made up of soft tissue that includes blood vessels and nerves. The pulp will soon start to die if it becomes infected by bacteria. Bacteria will multiply and spread making the tooth painful and an abscess may also develop causing swelling of the face.
To treat any infection in the root canal, the bacteria first needs to be removed and this can be done with root canal treatment, so that the tooth is saved from extraction.
At Market Street Dental Practice we know that the words ‘root canal’ can strike fear into the heart of a patient. But modern techniques and anaesthesia have made this procedure one that need no longer be feared and should be no more uncomfortable than having a filling.
Root canal treatment is usually successful and is also vital if a tooth is to be saved. In about 90% of cases, timely root canal treatment can help a tooth survive for up to 10 years after treatment.