Root canals

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental treatment that is used to save and repair a badly infected or damaged tooth. The procedure involves removing the infected part of the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it, and then filling and sealing it.

Root canal procedure

First visit

X-rays - these are taken to show where the decay is located.
Anaesthesia - local anaesthesia is administered to the affected tooth.
Pulpectomy - an opening is made and the diseased pulp is extracted.
Filling - the roots that have been opened are filled with gutta-percha material and sealed off with cement.

Second visit

The canals are cleaned further, and shaped and widened. The root canals are then filled with a special filling material, and sealed off.

Normally a crown or overlay is placed on the treated tooth to protect the weakened root structure and restore the tooth.

When do I need a root canal?

Usually, root canals are recommended when there is an infection deep within the pulp of the tooth. The pulp inside the tooth becomes infected because of a severe, untreated cavity or injury. Without proper treatment, the infection can become severe enough that the tooth has to be extracted.

Aftercare

  • Take all your medicine as directed. This may include pain medication and antibiotics.
  • Eat soft foods
  • Brush gently
  • While you are waiting for the crown to be inserted, avoid chewing on the affected side of the mouth