Root canal therapy is a way of saving your natural tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted due to an infection. Without root treatment, the infection at your teeth may lead to an abscess formation at the tip of the root which will result in constant and often unbearable pain.
Root canal therapy involves removing the infected pulp and nerves from inside the root canals of the tooth. Medication is then placed inside the root system to settle it down. If there is no sign of infection or inflammation when you return for a review appointment after pulp removal, then we can proceed to carefully shape and disinfect each canal in the tooth. Once this step is complete, the tooth is ready for restoration. Firstly a rubbery material will be placed inside the canals with a sealer to prevent further infection from travelling down the canal. This is then heated to shape it to the exact shape of the root canals. Once this is complete the tooth can be restored with either a filling or a crown.
In most situations, we will recommend that it would be ideal to definitively restore the root treated tooth with a crown to maximise the longevity of the treatment and prevent future infections.
Depending on the particular tooth being treated and the complexity of the canal system and the level of infection at the root, root canal therapy will take a minimum of three appointments and can take even more.
With proper care and maintenance, it should be possible for the root treated tooth to last as long as the other natural teeth in your mouth.