Sometimes, damage or decay gets deep into the tooth and can affect the root. If left unchecked, this could mean that the tooth either falls out or has to be removed by your dentist. Root fillings – also known as root canal work – can ensure that you keep your tooth.
Your dentist will take an x-ray of the tooth to check the shape of the root canals and to see whether there is any added infection around the root. After putting you under local anaesthetic, the dentist will go through the top of your tooth into the pulp – the bit right in the middle of your tooth that holds the nerves and blood supply. He will then remove the dead bits of the pulp and check for any infection. If the infection has spread beyond the tooth, he may have to give you a temporary filling and some antibiotics until it clears up.
After the pulp has been removed, the dentist fills the gap with a rubbery material and puts a normal filling on top.