Endodontic Treatment

Split view of an infected tooth and healthy toothWhy would I need an Endodontic treatment?

When the tooth pulp becomes inflamed or infected Endodontic treatment (also known as a Root Canal) is necessary to relieve suffering and prevent further damage or abcess. Causes for this inflammation or infection could include deep decay, repeated dental procedures, a crack or chip in the tooth, or a knock to the tooth – even if there is no outwardly visible damage.

Some indications of pulp damage are: prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold, tooth discolouration, swelling and tenderness in gums – or there may be no symptoms at all.


What does this treatment involve?

The principal aim for the endodontist is removing the inflamed or infected pulp. The inside of the tooth is then disinfected, shaped, filled and sealed. This is all done under a microscope, which offers very high illumination and magnification of the root canal system. Without this level of magnification it would be impossible to see vertical fractures (this type of fracture cannot be seen on x-rays) or other potential complications.

Afterwards, you will return to your general dentist, who will place a permanent restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to normal function. A year later, the endodontist will review the tooth, and if all has healed well a crown is often recommended for back teeth to restore them to full strength.


Is the root canal treatment painful?

During the treatment the endodontist will do their best to make you comfortable through the use of anaesthetics and modern techniques designed to minimise any discomfort. It is important to remember that endodontic procedures are carried out to improve the health of the tooth and prevent ongoing pain of toothaches caused by the inflamed or infected pulp.The endodontist will provide advice on how to treat any pain and it can usually be managed with over-the-counter or prescription medicines.