Root Canal treatment
Sometimes the decay in a tooth is so large that it infects the nerve and a filling can no longer fix it. When this happens, two things usually happens – patients either get a severe pain or throbbing that comes and goes. Sometimes the only way they can get relief is by drinking very cold water constantly. The other likely symptom is that the tooth is painful if it is touched or bitten on – this usually indicates that the nerve has died over a long period of time.
When the nerve has been infected, it needs to be removed and the nerve chamber needs to be cleaned, disinfected and shaped and filled. To do this, a small hole needs to be made usually in the middle of the tooth and a special instrument used to remove the nerve and clean out the nerve chamber.
Many people are anxious or afraid that the procedure will be painful or uncomfortable. We make sure that you are completely numb before we begin the treatment. After the anaesthetic is given, many patients feel extreme relief from the pain and many actually fall asleep during the treatment.
Root canal usually requires 2-3 appointments. If it is a back tooth we usually recommend a crown to protect the tooth as it will have been significantly weakened.
On some occasions the tooth can turn dark after root canal treatment. As long as there is no pain from the tooth and the xray shows no infection after treatment, this is OK, and if a crown is placed over the tooth after it will hide any discolouration.