Root canal treatment is often needed when the pulp of the tooth is infected, usually following tooth decay or damage to the tooth. In this procedure, we extract the infected pulp tissue from inside the tooth, clean it up to ensure no infection remains and fill the space to seal it and protect the root canal from further infection.
Root canals have a bad reputation but it’s completely unwarranted. Today’s root canal treatment is normally pain-free and in fact very similar to having a tooth filled. Some patients may feel a slight discomfort after treatment where the tooth can feel a little sensitive for a few days afterwards. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the counter-medication, such as paracetamol.
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You may have an area of deep dental decay or your tooth may be fractured. In either case the pulp of the tooth has become infected and needs to be removed.
Usually only two, however you may need more if your case is particularly complex. At the first appointment the pulp is removed and any abscesses are drained, giving you immediate relief from pain. The second appointment will be to permanently fill the tooth and fit a crown if necessary.
No, modern root canal treatment is not generally painful. A local anaesthetic is given to numb the area and you should experience no more discomfort than with a normal filling.