Root canal therapy treats the painful root tissue of a tooth where the nerve and is done to save the tooth from needing to be extracted. This is done by drilling down through the tooth to the infected part of the root. The infected root is then removed and the area thoroughly cleaned and treated to prevent any further infection forming. A permanent seal is then placed in the gap left after the infected root was removed. Sometimes a crown is also needed to give strength back to the tooth.
Root canal therapy is done under local anaesthetic to reduce pain. The description of the treatment sounds painful, however it should not cause any more discomfort than a normal filling. We understand however that patients may prefer a higher level of anaesthetic and if so, we can use nitrous oxide or ‘happy gas’ to alleviate anxiety.
In cases of higher dental anxiety, or where more than one root canal needs to be done at once, we can book the services of our monthly IV Dental Sedationist specialist who visits our rooms to manage the patient under a twilight sedation while our dentist undertakes the treatment.
How do roots get infected?
Roots, or nerves of teeth generally become infected when a hole in the tooth is left untreated. Bacteria can then pass through the hole in the tooth and travel down to the roots/nerves. This causes infection and pain. Other causes of root infection include gum disease and trauma.