Endodontic (Root Canal) treatments
Endodontic treatment is focussed on treating the nerve space inside teeth -the root canal. In healthy teeth, this space contains the dental pulp - a complex of blood vessels and nerve tissue. If the nerve in this space becomes irritated, the tooth becomes painful - this is the 'toothache' you can sometimes feel.
Bacteria in the root canal space can cause the nerve to be irritated and inflamed This process can cause acute sensitivity from a tooth making it very tender to hot and cold. Bacteria in this inflamed pulp can also irritate the ligament which holds the tooth in place. This can cause the tooth to be tender to bite on.
Once the nerve space in the tooth has died off, the acute sensitivity can reduce, however, a dental infection can then develop. The bacteria that is inside the space in the tooth can release toxins through the end of the root which can lead to a dental abscess where there is pus/ infection under the tooth.
Root Canal Treatment is a procedure where the space inside the tooth is disinfected to reduce the bacteria causing the pain. Once the space is cleaned and disinfected, the space in the tooth is then sealed with a Root Canal Filling.
To prevent bacteria re-entering the space in the tooth, a strong filling is placed to seal the access hole in the tooth. Back teeth are at an increased risk of breaking so a crown is often recommended to protect back teeth.