Root Canal Treatment is the field of dentistry concerned with the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the dental pulp/nerve. Years ago, teeth
with diseased or injured pulps were extracted. Today, root canal treatment gives
dentists/endodontists a safe and effective means of saving your teeth.
The pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, which are
important in tooth development. There are very small canals within your tooth
and they can become infected quite easily. This causes the pulp inside your
tooth to become infected as well. Pain and swelling may accompany the infection.
Even in the absence of pain, certain by-products of a diseased pulp can injure
the bone that anchors your tooth in the jaw. Our endodontist , who is a dental
specialist in root canal treatment, will remove this infection by performing
a root canal procedure. This is one of the safest and most effective methods
of saving a damaged tooth.
Treatment usually requires from one to three appointments. The pulp chamber
and root canal(s) of the tooth is then cleaned, shaped, filled and sealed to
prevent recontamination of the root canal system.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Root Canal Treatment
• Removal of bacterial infection from tooth
• Removal of pain
• Prevention of further spread of infection throughout tooth to surrounding
• Saving your infected tooth
• Occasionally, infected tissue is pushed through the ends of the root
infecting the gum. This can be treated easily, but there will be some pain until
the infection is cleared up.
• Canals are irregularly shaped, and if the canal is not accurately measured
then it won’t be cleaned or filled properly. This will cause the pulp
to become infected again and a second procedure will be necessary.
1. The endodontist/root canal dentist will examine
the tooth and x-rays before numbing the area around the affected tooth. A small
protective sheet called a "rubber dam or dental dam,” is placed over
the area. This will isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva throughout
the procedure. We will then drill through to the pulp area, either through the
top or the back of the tooth. Very small instruments and an antiseptic solution
will be used to clean the pulp and root canals and a space is shaped for a filling.
2. When the space has been cleaned and shaped, we will fill the root canal
with a biocompatible material. This is usually a specific flexible plastic material
called "gutta-percha” ensuring that the root canals are completely
sealed. Normally, a temporary filling will be inserted to close the opening.
The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.
3. After your final visit, you must return to dentist for the restoration
work. If there is no sign of any infection a crown or permanent filling will
be inserted after the root canal procedure.