Inside the tooth is a hollow centre containing ‘pulp’. Pulp is a sensitive tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves that provides oxygen, nutrients and feeling to the tooth.
The pulp is found all through the tooth and the space where the pulp sits in the root is called the root canal.
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that replaces damaged or infected pulp in the tooth’s root canal, with a filling.
If you have damaged or infected pulp in one or more of the roots of your teeth, or an abscess has developed, you may need a root canal treatment. This damage or infection may have been caused by untreated dental decay (ADA website), decay beneath a filling, tooth damage, tooth grinding (bruxism) or gum disease.
Please note: Root canal treatment will not be offered if the tooth is loose or if only a small amount of tooth remains as the treatment is not likely to be successful in these cases.
This procedure may need to be completed over several visits.
Like any medical procedure, a root canal treatment poses some risk and, on rare occasions, there may be complications. These complications may result in a tooth needing additional treatment, referral to a specialist* or may result in the tooth needing to be removed.
Please note: In most cases root canal treatment is very successful. Speak with your dentist if you have any concerns about the treatment.
Last updated: 2014-02-04