Root Canal Therapy (also known as Endodontic Therapy) is a procedure to remove the infected or damaged pulp on the inside of a tooth and replacing it with a filling. The pulp is the soft tissue that sits inside the tooth and runs through the centre of the tooth canal. The pulp contains nerves, blood and lymph vessels. When the pulp of a tooth is removed and replaced with a filling the tooth has the ability to function as normal.
Reasons the pulp within the tooth may need to be replaced could be the result of tooth decay or if the pulp has become infected due to an injury sustained by the tooth.
When undergoing root canal therapy the dentist will complete the procedure by first removing the infected pulp. Once the pulp is removed the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. After the cleaning process, the canal is shaped to assist in the ease of inserting the filling into the tooth. The procedure can sometimes require a number of visits to the dentist, if this is the case a temporary filling will be inserted to protect the tooth between treatment sessions.
To complete the procedure the tooth canal will be filled (the standard filling material is gutta-percha) and if required a crown can be placed over the tooth.
The success rate of root canal therapy is 90 – 95% therefore alleviating any pain or discomfort and ensuring the tooth does not need to be extracted. With good dental hygiene and taking the time to look after your teeth this will help to ensure the tooth can last indefinitely.
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