Root canal treatment is usually done under local anaesthetic. This completely blocks pain from your tooth and jaw area, and you will stay awake during the procedure.
Sometimes, damaged teeth can’t be repaired with root canal treatment. This is usually if your tooth is badly damaged or if you have severe gum disease which prevents your tooth from healing or being well supported after treatment. If this happens, your dentist may suggest you have the tooth removed (extracted).
What happens during root canal treatment?
Once the area is numb, your dentist will place a thin rubber sheet over the tooth to be treated. This is called a dental dam and covers everything except the tooth being worked on. It helps to keep the area around the tooth clean and stop the spread of any infection.
Using a drill, your dentist will make a hole in the top of your tooth and remove the pulp. They will clean out the empty hole using small instruments and a liquid to irrigate and disinfect the inside of the tooth. The instruments help to make the canals a more regular shape to enable the tooth to be filled and cleaned more precisely. The irrigating liquid makes sure that all infected material is flushed out.
Once the tooth is clean and the nerve canals have been filled the top of the tooth can be restored either with a filling or with a crown.