A root canal treatment is necessary when decay or injury has infected the blood or nerve supply of the tooth, (also known as the pulp). If the pulp becomes infected this can lead to an abscess forming which can be very painful. If the RCT is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be extracted.
The aim is to remove all the affected tissue from within the pulp chamber. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection occuring. The RCT is a skilled and time consuming procedure which can take two or more visits to the dentist.
The alternative to RCT is to have the tooth extracted. Once the pulp is destroyed, it cannot heal and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. Whilst some people may prefer to have the tooth removed it is usually advisable to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible.
Veneers are thin facings which are normally made of porcelain. They are used to improve the appearance of discoloured, chipped or mildly crowded teeth. The technique is relatively new but has been used with a great deal of success at Edgware Dental Practice.
Very minimal tooth preparation is involved, and the veneer (which is custom-made in the laboratory) is fixed to the tooth surface with a special bonding agent.