Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury.
Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or dies. With effective local anaesthetic, root canal treatment is a painless procedure. It is a very important procedure as it preserves the tooth saving it from extraction.
Root canal treatment can often be done in one session, or you may need to have treatment over more than one session. How long your treatment takes will depend on how severe your dental problem is and the type of tooth in question. If your affected tooth is a molar with two or three root canals, the treatment may be more difficult and involve more sessions.
Your treated and restored tooth/teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. Because tooth decay can still occur in treated teeth, good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are necessary to prevent further problems.
As there is no longer a pulp keeping the tooth alive, root-treated teeth can become brittle and are more prone to fracture. This is an important consideration when deciding whether to crown or fill a tooth after root canal treatment.