Unfortunately, untreated decay and sometimes trauma, overtime, can lead to the nerve of the tooth dying. This can lead to an abscess, or pain, requiring the tooth to have root-canal treatment or an extraction. The diseased tooth may not show symptoms for a long time, but in the meantime is spreading bacteria and pus into the surrounding bone, causing a negative effect on general health. Modern root-canal treatment involves cleaning out the necrotic and diseased tissue in the root canals, then sealing and filling the canals to prevent further infection.
Causes of infection and pain from the nerve:
Deep decay in the tooth whereby bacteria are entering the nerve
Breakdown or loss of an old filling
Crack in the tooth
Root Canal Treatment
Usually two-three visits are required, and typically pain is greatly relieved after the first visit. If a severe abscess has formed, oral antibiotics may be required to help treat the infection.
A small hole is drilled through the top of the tooth into where the nerve exists. The dead and diseased pulp tissue/nerve tissue is removed, irrigated and cleaned and the length of the root is measure. An antibiotic paste is then put into the root and left there until the next visit.
The tooth is irrigated again and the final shaping of the root-canals is done. More antibacterial medication will be applied.
The cleansed root-canals are then filled with an inert material called gutta percha and sealant. If the tooth is fragile, it is recommended to have the tooth crowned; usually 6-12months after the root canal treatment has been completed. Following root canal treatment, x-rays will be taken to monitor the growth of new healthy bone at the end of the roots.