Root canal or ‘nerve’ treatment is the removal of dead tissues inside our tooth. This treatment is required when there is irreversible damage in the nerve tissue within the tooth due to dental decays, deep restoration/crown sitting close by the nerve or trauma. It is usually preceded by severe toothache/ tenderness and/or with swelling.
There are a couple of cons for the procedure -weakening of the tooth structure and the darkening of the tooth, but unfortunately the alternative option of the tooth that need a root canal is the removal of the whole tooth. The ‘cons’ of RCT can be resolved by having the tooth crowned (which will be mentioned below).
Root canal usually consists of either 2 or 3 visits. On first visit, dentist will remove the infected nerve tissue through the small access cavity made on the tooth and put medicament dressing in the canal and sealed up.
On finishing visits the dentist would remove the medicaments and fill the canals with root filling to avoid the regrowth of the bacteria.
There are misconceptions that Root canal treatment is harmful and painful and these are not true. Root canal is a safe treatment and does not promote the growth of bacteria in our jawbone or in our ‘circulation system’. Also the treatment would feel quite comfortable under local anaesthetic.