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When there has been a lot of decay in the tooth, if a previous filling has been extremely deep, or if there is trauma to the tooth, the pulp (nerve) of the tooth may become severely inflamed. This shows up first as a thumping or beating pain in the tooth which would keep you awake at night.
This proceeds to infection in the pulp as it dies, and untreated, this leads to an abscess in the tooth. The tooth would require extraction – or to save the tooth, we can carry out root canal treatment. The tooth is numbed, and normally the procedure shouldn’t feel different to having a filling done. We aim to remove all the infected material from inside the tooth and carefully seal the canals so no more infection can develop. This usually requires two or more visits.
In the past root canal treatment has been linked to quite uncertain treatment outcomes and problematic aftercare. However, that has now changed with the advent of better access to the root canal with more advanced equipment and cleansing ability. Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure but it is one that is more successful than even before.