Root Canals are performed when an infection in the centre of the tooth, which contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, has become too severe to be reversed through cleaning, fillings, or antibiotics. The infection causes a severe toothache and can lead to complications such as tooth loss and infection of the blood or surrounding tissue if left untreated.
Despite their reputation, modern root canals can be completed in as little as one appointment, and are made comfortable with local anaesthesia (freezing) so that the procedure is not too different than getting a filling.
Infection of the dental pulp occurs when bacteria enters the tooth through a crack or chip, or through an untreated cavity or a flawed filling. To prevent this type of infection, always visit your family dentist when a tooth has been damaged, and maintain a regular oral health routine, including regular dental cleanings and check-ups.
A root canal can be performed by your local dentist. During the treatment the infected pulp is removed and the tooth is disinfected and filled. To protect the tooth from future infection, it is usually covered with a crown. After a root canal, the capped tooth can function again just like a natural tooth.