A badly decayed tooth can sometimes affect the inner layers of the teeth, eventually causing the nerve to get infected. Infection of the pulp/nerve can be due to broken filling, gum disease, trauma or injury to tooth, cracked tooth, excessive wear of teeth or deep cavity.
Generally, root canal is recommended when simple or indirect filling alone can no longer save a tooth. Symptoms of tooth requiring root canal may include (but not limited to): pain, soreness, sensitivity to cold and hot, dull pain and throbbing pain, pain lingering even without chewing on tooth, pain overnight, etc.
The purpose of root canal treatment is to save the tooth that has been affected due to cavity, trauma or disease. If the nerve/pulp of the tooth is not treated soon, the infection may spread leading to abscess and severe pain.
Root canal treatment is usually carried out over 2-3 appointments. Root canal is performed under local anaesthesia, which means your tooth and surrounding region is numb so you shouldn’t feel pain or discomfort. The procedure of root canal involves removing the infected nerve, preparing the tooth canals and placing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medicines inside the tooth to stop inflammation/infection. After few days, the dentist replaces the medicines inside tooth with filling material inside canal and tooth.
A Crown is recommended after root canal treatment as a tooth treated with root canal treatment has higher risk of fracture.