Occasionally the inner soft pulp of your tooth may become infected. In this case, it may be necessary to have root canal treatment.

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is the removal of the damaged inner tooth. It is only required when x-rays show that the pulp of the tooth has been damaged by bacteria.

What happens during a root canal?

Root canal treatment is usually carried out under a local anaesthetic. Your dentist will place a rubber sheet around the tooth to keep it dry during the treatment, and to stop you from swallowing any of the chemicals used.

Your dentist will open the tooth from the top to access the infected pulp. After the pulp has been removed, your dentist will clean the hole and apply an antibiotic medicine, and then insert a temporary filling. At the next visit, the filling and medicine will be removed, and the root canal filling will be inserted to seal the tooth and prevent reinfection. Your dentist will suggest that a crown should be fitted to prevent reinfection.

How should I take care of my treated tooth?

Root canal treatment is usually successful at saving the tooth and clearing infection.

It is important to keep your teeth clean by practising good oral hygiene, especially for the treated tooth. Your dentist will be able to advise you further.

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