What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is carried out on a tooth where the nerve has died or is in the process of dying and cannot be saved. Once the nerve of a tooth is dead it can become discoloured and start to rot from the inside. It is important to act quickly to save your tooth.
It can be alarming to hear that you need a root canal but try to think of it as just another type of filling – only in a deeper part of the tooth. Essentially it involves the mechanical cleaning out of the diseased nerve from the root canal, which is then filled with an inert material, usually gutta percha (the coagulated sap of certain tropical trees).
In many cases, root canal treatment can be carried out without local anaesthetic. After cleaning, we irrigate the canal system with various medical solutions and then dry the canal with our final disinfection process using ozone therapy. This has been shown to reduce bacterial contamination vastly.
Some teeth have a single root canal and can be filled with an appropriate material to rebuild the tooth. Other teeth, especially at the back of the mouth, have two or three canals and may require rebuilding with a crown and sometimes a special core with posts. For most of our root canal treatments, we use a system called K3 from Sybron Endo, a well-recognised and established brand in the field of root canal treatment. A classic root canal is a minimally invasive type of endodontic therapy and does not require surgery.