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A nerve filling (more commonly known as a root canal treatment) is needed when tooth decay causing bacteria invades the pulp of the tooth. Once such infection sets in, a simple filling does not suffice and a more thorough cleaning of the internal parts of the tooth is needed.
Depending on each situation nerve fillings are completed over one or two visits during which your dentist would essentially "clean, shape & fill" the internal chambers of your tooth & root. Finally the tooth is restored its normal shape with conventional dental fillings.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
No. The dentist will give you a local anaesthetic to ensure you are fully comfortable before starting the procedure.
No. Normal daily activities can be resumed almost immediately. Some patients do experience slight soreness initially but this is easily controlled with most conventional painkillers.
Yes, most often a crown is recommended after root canal therapy. Teeth that require endodontic treatment tend to be quite weak and research shows they have an increased likelihood of breaking or chipping. Hence the current international recommendation is for a crown restoration to be placed over the tooth for greater protection.