What is a root canal treatment?
Inside the tooth is a hollow centre containing ‘pulp’. Pulp is a sensitive tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves that provides oxygen, nutrients and feeling to the tooth. The pulp is found all through the tooth and the space where the pulp sits in the root is called the root canal.
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that replaces damaged or infected pulp in the tooth’s root canal, with a filling.
Why might I need a root canal treatment?
If you have damaged or infected pulp in one or more of the roots of your teeth, or an abscess has developed, you may need a root canal treatment. This damage or infection may have been caused by untreated dental decay (ADA website), decay beneath a filling, tooth damage, tooth grinding (bruxism) or gum disease.
Please note: Root canal treatment may not be offered if the tooth is loose or if only a small amount of tooth remains as the treatment is not likely to be successful in these cases.
What are the alternatives to a root canal treatment?
Remove the tooth – Removing the tooth will leave a gap that may need to be replaced by an artificial tooth.
Leave the tooth untreated – If left untreated an infection may occur and can spread to the jaw. Pus can build up and cause pain. Cysts may also develop and need further treatment.