Pulpitis. root canal therapy. Infected pulp is removed from the tooth and the space occupied by it is cleaned and filled with a gutta percha. Post inserted to support crown

Root canal treatment is directed towards removing inflamed or abscessed tissue.

Root canal treatment (endodontics) is a dental procedure used to treat infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal system).
The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth. This can happen after:

  • Tooth decay
  • Leaky fillings
  • Damage to teeth as a result of trauma, such as a fall

A root canal treatment requires one or two visits to complete depending on the extent of the infection.

To treat the infection in the root canal, the bacteria need to be removed.
This can be done by either:

  • Removing the bacteria from the root canal system (root canal treatment)
  • Removing the tooth (extraction)

However, removing the tooth isn’t usually recommended as it’s better to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible.
After the bacteria have been removed, the root canal will be filled and the tooth sealed with a filling or crown.
In most cases the inflamed tissue near the tooth will heal naturally.

Before having root canal treatment, you’ll usually be given a local anaesthetic. This means the procedure shouldn’t be painful and should be no more unpleasant than having a filling.
Root canal treatment is usually successful. In about 9 out of 10 cases a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.