Endodontic Treatment (Root Canal Treatment)
Your teeth have a core of blood vessels and nerves at their centre, this is known as the pulp. The number of root canals a tooth has varies. Generally your back teeth have 2-3 canals whereas your front teeth often have just one canal.
Root canal treatment or endodontics is used to save the tooth when the dental pulp (blood vessels and nerve in the centre of the tooth) dies and the tooth becomes infected. The cause of infection is usually decay in the tooth, under a filling or if the tooth fracture. Without treatment, this can cause a dental abscess resulting in pain, swelling and infection of the jaw bone.
How is the root canal procedure performed?
Will the root canal procedure hurt?
The endodontist will use local anesthetic in the treated area to ensure no pain is felt during treatment. The procedure may be done in 2 visits so that the tooth can settle in the period of at least 2-3 weeks. During this time you may encounter some discomfort which is normal. After the final treatment your restored tooth should be pain-free, although it may feel sensitive for a few days. Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken to relieve any discomfort. Ibuprofen may not be suitable for people with asthma, or those with stomach, kidney or liver problems. If you are unsure, speak to your pharmacist or GP. Children under 16 years of age should not be given aspirin. If any pain or swelling remains after a few days you should return to your dentist.