Root canal treatment may be required when the tooth becomes painful, tender to bite on, is particularly sensitive to heat and cold, may have a large cavity which extends into the nerve of the tooth, or suddenly becomes dark in colour. Sometimes the pulp of the tooth will die without causing any noticeable pain, however, there may be swelling in jaw or face.
Root canal therapy involves the removal of the nerve, “pulp” from within the tooth and then sealing the cavity. The pulp lies in the centre of the tooth and in a canal extending from the crown of the tooth through to the tip of the root. In some cases the root canal therapy may need to be referred to a specialist.