Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment (also known as ‘endodontics’) is required when the pulp of the tooth (its blood or nerve supply) becomes infected through decay or injury.

The infection may spread through the tooth’s root canal system if left untreated, leading to an abscess. In addition, the infection can spread further and the tooth may need to be removed altogether.

What is the Root Canal Treatment Procedure?

Root canal treatment involves the dentist removing all infection from the root canal, cleaning the root and then filling it to prevent further infection.

While it is painless, it is nevertheless a complex and time-consuming treatment that usually involves two or more visits to the dentist as follows:

  • Firstly, the infected pulp is removed and any abscesses drained. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped, a temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.
  • During the the second visit, the tooth will be checked and permanently filled when all the infection has cleared.

Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?

No. A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions asked frequently about Root Canal Treatment from clients of Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick.

There is generally no darkening or discolouration of the tooth subsequent to root canal treatment, thanks to modern dental techniques. However, if there is darkening, there are several treatments available to restore the tooth’s natural appearance. Root canal treatment is usually very successful. The treatment can nevertheless be repeated if there is a recurrence of the infection.
The alternative is to have the tooth extracted, as once the pulp is destroyed, it cannot heal and it’s not recommended to leave an infected tooth in place. While some people would prefer an extraction, it’s usually best to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible.
Yes. However, it is best to provide extra support and strength by restoring the tooth with a crown.

Root-treated teeth should be treated just the same as all of your teeth as follows:

  • your teeth should be cleaned at least once a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • cut down on sugary snacks, if possible restricting them to mealtimes only
  • see your dentist for regular check-ups