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What is root canal treatment?

Decades ago, having a toothache meant having the tooth extracted. Today, most teeth with infected nerve tissue can be saved by performing root canal treatment. Root canal treatment is required when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth is infected through decay or injury. The infected nerve is removed from the tooth, the canals are then re-shaped and filled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it needed?

If the tooth becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth that might eventually lead to an abscess. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the infection will spread causing severe pain & swelling and the tooth may need to be taken out.

Does it hurt?

No! A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.

What if I don’t have the treatment?

The alternative is to have the tooth extracted. Although some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

Will the tooth be safe after treatment?

Yes! However, it is better to restore the tooth with a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth. Teeth which have had root canal treatment but have not been crowned afterwards have a much higher risk of fracture.

What about aftercare?

Root-treated teeth should be treated just the same as any other tooth. Remember to clean your teeth at least twice a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste. Cut down on sugary snacks and keep them only to mealtimes if possible. See your dentist for regular check-ups.

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