Root Canals and Endodontic Treatment
Root canals are usually done when decay has extended into a tooth towards the blood vessels and nerves (pulp) that supply the tooth with nutrition and sensation. Once this happens, one may complain of pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, difficulty chewing or eating on that side and sometimes spontaneous pain that keeps you up all night. In some instances, one may have an abscess or swelling of the mouth.
In these cases root canals are indicated. The dentist will aim to firstly get rid of the pain with local anaesthetic. An emergency visit can be done to access the pulp and remove it. This will reduce pain and the dentist will book you for a further 1 or 2 appointments depending on the tooth.
Special files are used to clean the infection and unhealthy pulp out of the canals. The canals are rinsed and shaped in preparation for a permanent sealant material. Occasionally a tooth may require a post for extra support and a crown to protect it from fractures.
If a tooth is not root canalled, it must be extracted to prevent further pain and infection into the surrounding areas.