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A root canal is carried out by your dentist if they decide that part of your tooth is ‘dead’ and they want to try and save it.

The procedure works by removing the infected area of your tooth from the root canal area. This is the harder outside area of your tooth.

Once a root canal has been carried out, your dentist will fill the cavity it leaves with a permanent structure and then often fit the tooth with a crown to keep it in place. Your tooth will have been saved through this procedure and no tooth extraction will be needed.

What happens if you don’t go ahead with a root canal procedure when it’s needed?

If you are in need of root canal therapy and you ignore the situation, your tooth can get infected and this can result in a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess is very painful as pus builds up in your tooth, gum and surrounding tissue from the bacterial infection.


Should I get a root canal?

If you have any of the below symptoms then you should visit a dentist, as you may need a root canal to fix the problem.

  • You have continuous tooth pain
  • You have nerve damage on a tooth that makes eating uncomfortable
  • Putting pressure on a certain tooth causes you pain
  • You have a crack in your tooth which is hurting you
  • One of your teeth is looking discoloured
  • You have an infection in a tooth canal
  • You have decay that has gone deep into your tooth and gum
  • You have a crown that has turned faulty
  • You have a crack or chip in your tooth that has been left untreated and is now causing you problems.

However, don’t self-diagnose, it’s best to see a dentist as there are many treatments that could possibly be available to you.

Root canal procedure

For root canal therapy, your dentist will use small tools to help remove the infected or ‘dead’ area of the pulp around and inside your tooth. The dentist will carefully take out any part of the tooth that is deemed infected so that the problem within your tooth does not reoccur.

Once your dentist has cleaned out this cavity, they will fill the hole with a substance that is similar to rubber. This will then harden and then the dentist will proceed with implanting a crown on top of the tooth to cement it. Then your root canal will be finished and you’ll be free to go with a saved tooth in your mouth.