This treatment is necessary when caries (tooth decay) have spread into the the center of the tooth, called the root canal. This contains the nerve, blood supply and pulp tissue of the tooth and have to be removed totally to prevent recurring infections. Front teeth have only one canal, whereas molars can have up to five! Each canal has to be sterilized and sealed off. Dr Beukes uses „Rubber dam“ isolation on a tooth, to secure a sterile environment.
Often patients are weary of this procedure. However, modern techniques makes this more successful and less uncomfortable than previously.
It has to be noted that a tooth could still get caries after a root canal treatment. As it has no nerve supply, the patient will have no warning signs to alert him or her. Therefor yearly dental check-ups and oral hygiene visits remains important. In time the tooth may discolour and could even start to break up. It is always advisable to crown a root canal treated tooth.