Root canal treatment is performed when the nerve of the tooth is damaged, irreversible inflamed, or infected. This can happen as a result of tooth decay, trauma or deep enamel cracks. When this occurs, and in order to save the tooth, the nerve is carefully and painlessly removed. This is achieved using specially designed instruments. The resulting space (the root canal) is then disinfected, medicated, and restored. This may take a number of visits.
Root canal treatment is highly successful and can last a lifetime. On occasion, a tooth will need to be retreated due to new infections. It is highly advisable that a crown is placed on an endodontically treated tooth. This will protect the tooth from any future fractures that might otherwise proceed undetected.
Having root canal treatment is the treatment of choice in order to save a tooth with a dying nerve. Many people believe that extraction (removing the tooth) is the only solution. They may not realise that this may lead to problems in the future, potentially costing more to rectify.