Root canal treatment is needed when the nerve of your tooth or its blood supply – the pulp – has been infected through decay or injury. An infection in the pulp can cause an abscess, which is an inflamed area where the pus collects, and its symptoms range from a dull ache to a severe pain. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the infection will spread and your tooth may need to be extracted.
Treatment involves a local anaesthetic to numb your jaw, while the infected pulp is removed and any abscesses are drained. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped, ready for filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle. A second visit is required to check the tooth is free from infection and then it is permanently filled. Further appointments may be required if additional cosmetic treatments, such as a crown, is needed.