Root Canal Therapy

The aim of root canal treatment (also called endodontic treatment) is to save a tooth that has been badly damaged due to decay, disease or injury.

Symptoms can include pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, tooth discolouration and swelling or soreness in the gums surrounding the tooth. If the pulp cannot reapair itself, it will initially become inflamed. If it is not treated, it will die and become infected. Root canal treatment is then needed to save the tooth.

To improve the chances of success, root canal treatment should start as soon as possible. All root canals in the affected tooth must be treated. The front teeth have one or two root canals. Premolars typically have one or two root canals. Molars usually have three or four root canals.

Your tooth will not be treated unless the treatment is likely to succeed. Root canal treatment may not be appropriate in all cases and extraction may be the best, or only option. This is always a last resort treatment.

Sometimes you will be referred to an endodontic specialist if the general dentist feels this is the most appropriate course of action.