If your tooth shows signs of infection of the nerve tissue or irreversible nerve damage your dentist may recommend root canal treatment (RCT)
If you have regular check ups it may be possible that early prevention and intervention will mean you don’t need an RCT. Usually an RCT is needed because the cavity becomes deep and reaches the nerve of the tooth. However, any tooth that has a decay, a filling, crown, inlay or bridge could end up needing root canal treatment. Equally, if a tooth suffers trauma, it can also end up needing RCT.
With good anesthesia, root canal treatment should be no more uncomfortable than a filling. Local anesthetic is used to ensure that the entire area is numb before treatment commences.
In most cases, RCT is a better way to treat an infected tooth than an extraction as it means that you can save your tooth, but of course, there are exceptions, for example, if your tooth has been severely damaged. Your dentist will discuss all of the options with you, providing you with the information needed and their recommendation. If your tooth needs root canal treatment and you choose not to have this done, you are very likely to lose your tooth.
If the dentist feels that you need a root canal, they will take a series of x-rays to ensure they can see exactly what is happening inside the tooth as well as considering the clinical symptoms.
Usually, your dentist will carry out this treatment however, there are occasions when it would be beneficial to see a specialist for this complex treatment.
Once a tooth is root filled, it becomes more brittle, so it is highly recommended that a crown or onlay is placed to reduce the risk of this occurring and you keep your tooth for many years to come.
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