Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a dental
procedure to treat infection at the center of a tooth (the root canal system).
Root canal treatment is also called endodontics. The infection is caused by
bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth when:
- Tooth decay occurs
- Fillings leak
- Teeth are damaged by trauma, such as a fall
root canal system
The root canal system contains the
dental pulp and extends from the crown of the tooth to the end of the root. A
single tooth can have more than one root canal.
The pulp is made up of soft tissue
that includes nerves and blood vessels. If bacteria infect the pulp, it will
begin to die. After this, the bacteria can increase in number. The
bacteria and the substances they release will eventually pass out of the end of
the root canal through the small hole where the blood vessels and nerves enter.
This process continues as there is
nothing to stop more bacteria passing down the root canal, which causes the
tissues around the end of the tooth to become red and swollen. This can cause
your tooth to become painful and, in extreme circumstances, your face may
To treat the infection in the root
canal, the bacteria need to be removed. This can be achieved by root canal
treatment, where the bacteria are removed from inside the root canal system,
the root canal is filled and the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown.
Root canal treatment should not be
painful because local anaesthetic is usually used. The procedure is usually