Root Canal Treatment
What is root canal therapy?
The blood and nerve supply to the tooth are contained within the tooth roots inside ‘root canals’. These can be damaged as a result of decay or other injury. Bacteria, which then gain access to these tissues, can cause infection, which can spread out into the bone causing an abscess.
Root canal treatment involves the careful removal of the infected tissue from the root canals. The cleaned space is then filled with a special filling material to help prevent re-infection. This enables the tooth to be retained in the mouth.
If root canal treatment is not carried out, such a tooth would need to be extracted.
Treatment is usually carried out in one or more appointments of about 1½- 2hrs duration, depending on the complexity of the tooth.
Teeth that have had no previous root canal treatment can have very high success rates of up to 96%, although success is attributable to many factors and can never be guaranteed. Teeth that have had previous root canal treatment can have a reduced prognosis for a variety of reasons. Re-treatment of these teeth however, can still give a very good chance of enabling the tooth to be saved.
Each tooth is different, and prognosis and any potential complications will be discussed individually.
Root canal treatments can be carried out by general dentists as routine dental work.