Root Canal Treatment


Endodontics is one of the dental specialties that deal with the tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. It consists of a variety of procedures including root canal therapy or endodontic therapy, retreatment surgery, treating of cracked teeth and dental trauma. The pulp is found in the center of the tooth and in canals inside the root of each tooth. The pulp includes connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. Nourishment of the tooth occurs through the pulp when it first emerges through the gum. The pulp can be removed without destroying the tooth once the teeth have become mature. If the pulp containing the nerves etc becomes diseased or injured, to save the tooth endodontic treatment is required.

Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment is needed when;

  • Infection where an untreated cavity is a common cause of pulp infection. The decay erodes the enamel of the tooth until it reaches a root canal. This causes bacterial infection on the pulp. Antibiotics can't penetrate to the infections which are inside teeth. The blood supply to the tooth is reduced due to inflammation that results due to infection. The reduced blood supply prevents the pulp from healing.

  • Damage to the pulp that can't be fixed. Fractured tooth or dental trauma can damage the pulp.

  • Large restorations, such as several fillings placed in the same tooth over a period of time may also damage the pulp. At times, common dental procedures, like preparing a tooth for a crown, can hurt the pulp. A root canal then becomes necessary.

If you have the following symptoms then your tooth might need a root canal:

  • It hurts when you bite, touch or push on it

  • It is sensitive to heat

  • It is sensitive to cold

  • There is swelling near the tooth

  • It is discolored (whether it hurts or not)

  • It is broken

Root canal treatment can be done in one or more visits depending on the situation. If there are no complications involved root canal treatment often can be completed in one visit. Treating a tooth with many roots and curved root canals takes longer. If you have an infection, you will visit the dentist several times so that he or she can make sure that the infection is gone.

Once the root canal treatment is finished, a crown or filling is placed on the tooth. The purpose of the crown is to prevent the tooth from breaking in the future. For some patients, root canal therapy is one of the most feared dental procedures, owing to the painful abscess that necessitates the root canal procedure. Nowadays, modern root canal treatment is relatively painless because the pain can be controlled with a local anesthetic thereby making it relatively painless compared to the conventional one.