Root Canal Therapy – The mere words, ‘Root Canal Treatment’, are enough for some people to form a negative impression of what’s to come. However, it’s a simple and usually painless procedure. In fact, some patients have been known to fall asleep during treatment! Occasionally, the nerve in a tooth can die. This can be due to extensive decay, trauma, or a long history of deep fillings. This can cause an unbearable toothache that prevents you from enjoying your day to day life.
You may require pain medication or even antibiotics to settle the discomfort, however while this minimises your symptoms in the short term, the underlying issue of the infection will still be present, unless the source (ie. the inflamed and dying nerve) is removed. The process of removing the nerve that allows us to save the tooth is called Root Canal Treatment, which usually takes 2-3 appointments. Although the nerve of the tooth is dead or dying, the actual tooth is not. To save the tooth, we spend the first appointment cleaning out the small space in the centre of the tooth occupied by the nerve; disinfect the space and then seal it with a temporary medication to relieve the tooth pain.
Once pain-free, the temporary filling and medicament will be cleaned out and permanently sealed. By doing this, the tooth will prevent future colonisation of this space by bacteria. This treatment effectively saves the tooth, as the tooth does not require blood supply from the nerve to function successfully.