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Root Canal Treatment

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is the removal of inflamed or infected nerve tissue and filling of the canal space. It is performed when the nerve of the tooth has died or is dying and cannot be saved. The treatment allows you to keep your tooth.

What does it involve?

The tooth must first be deemed restorable. If there is not enough tooth tissue left to hold a restoration, the only option left is extraction. If however the tooth can be saved, the process is:

1) the nerve is accessed through the tooth

2) the nerve tissue is removed

3) the now empty canal space is irrigated and shaped to hold a gutta-percha filling

4) the whole canal is filled and the tooth is restored with a filling or a laboratory-made restoration, such as a crown

How long does the treatment take?

This depends on the difficulty. Some teeth have multiple canals, some have very narrow or curved canals and some teeth are positioned in such a way that it is difficult to get into. Therefore the treatment time and number of appointments needed can vary.

What if it is very difficult for the dentist?

Sometimes the tooth may be beyond the dentist's capabilities and may require referral to a specialist. Your dentist will discuss the options with you. You always have the option either way for treatment to be done by a specialist, no matter on the difficulty.

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