Many people may conjure up horrible images when they hear the words root canal, especially if they have a phobia of going to the dentist, but root canal treatment is a very safe procedure that can save a tooth. Root canal treatment is used to treat teeth that are severely decayed or damaged as a result of an accident or injury.
The root canal procedure involves removing decayed pulp tissue from the tooth; the pulp contains all the living tissue in the tooth, including the nerves and blood vessels and if the pulp becomes severely decayed, the tooth effectively dies. Root canal treatment removes all the decayed tissue and cleans the tooth so that a new crown can be placed over the tooth, creating a natural looking tooth that functions in exactly the same way as an original tooth.
If a tooth is severely decayed or damaged and it is left untreated, there is a risk of an abscess developing and the bone surrounding the affected tooth may become damaged; the condition of the tooth can quickly disintegrate and it may have to be extracted, which will create a gap in the teeth. Gaps not only affect the aesthetic of the smile but they also have an effect on the individual’s ability to eat and speak clearly.
Root canal treatment may be a daunting prospect for people who are worried about injections, pain or generally going to the dentist; however, the procedure is carried out under anaesthetic and many dentists now offer specialist services for patients with dental phobia. In the vast majority of cases the rewards of the procedure far outweigh the risks and the treatment can prevent the tooth from being lost. Root canal treatment is usually carried out over two appointments.