Knowledge Base

Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatment

Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatment

Root canal treatment can save a tooth.

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth were often pulled out. But today, even if the pulp inside one of your teeth is injured or infected, the tooth often can be saved through root canal (endodontic) treatment.

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with treating diseases or injuries to the dental pulp.

What happens if the dental pulp is injured?

The pulp is soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it dies. The most common causes of pulp death are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, problems with large fillings, or serious injury to the tooth. All of these can allow bacteria to enter into the pulp.

Why should the pulp be removed?

If the problem pulp is not removed, the tissues around the root of the tooth can become infected, often resulting in pain and swelling. An abscess forms. Even if there is no pain, bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be extracted.

Removing a tooth can create problems

When a tooth is extracted and not replaced, the teeth around it may shift from their normal position. Shifted teeth may make biting and chewing difficult. They may also make it harder to clean your teeth. Areas that are not cleaned well are more likely to get gum disease.

Root canal treatment can prevent these problems by saving your natural tooth. A natural tooth is always better than a replacement tooth. Root canal treatment is usually less expensive than replacing a tooth.

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What does treatment involve?

Root canal treatment involves one or more visits. There are several steps that your dentist will perform to save your tooth. We carry out endodontic treatment using a microscope for high powered magnification of the tooth anatomy. This maximises our chance of success when treating your tooth.

First, your tooth is numbed for your comfort. The dentist will then place a thin sheet of latex rubber over your tooth to keep the tooth isolated from your saliva and to protect your airway from any materials or instruments used during the treatment.

An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber. The infected or inflamed pulp is then removed. Each root canal is cleaned and shaped so it can be filled.

When your dentist is happy that all the root canal anatomy has been cleaned and prepared, the canal structure will be filled with a rubber-like material to seal it. If your tooth is very infected, it may be necessary to dress the tooth with an antibiotic paste and a temporary filling but we find the majority of root canal treatments carried out under high magnification can be completed in a single visit.

Because of the small working environment and the intricacies of each root canal system, root canal treatment is a skilled procedure. We back up these skills by using the latest technology and materials, together with the dental microscope, to ensure that you receive the best endodontic treatment possible.

Do I need to have a crown after root canal treatment?

In order to get access to the pulp chamber and root canals inside the tooth during root canal treatment, your dentist has to remove a considerable amount of tooth substance. This can weaken the tooth and make it more vulnerable to pressure if the tooth is rebuilt with conventional filling materials. Therefore your dentist may recommend a crown to be put on top of the root filled tooth after the root canal treatment has been completed to protect the tooth from cracking.

At this practice we are able to create a beautiful and strong crown to secure your tooth using the latest advanced technology.

How long will the restored tooth last?

A tooth with a root canal filling can last for years. Teeth with root canal fillings can, however, become decayed or fractured, or get gum disease, just like any other teeth. Daily cleaning and regular exams will help you keep your teeth healthy, whether they have had root canals or not.

departments: Endodontics
treatments: Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatments
procedures: Endodontics