canal treatment, which is also known
as Endodontic treatment, is needed when the blood and nerve supply of the
tooth is infected or inflamed. This can be caused by decay or
injury. The infection may spread throughout the entire root canal
system and can eventually lead to an abscess. Root canal treatment
is required to stop the spread of the infection and should prevent
the tooth from being extracted.
When your tooth's
nerve chamber becomes infected by decay, root canal treatment is
often the only way to save your tooth. Inside your tooth's hard
outer shell is a nourishing pulp of blood vessels, lymph vessels and
nerves. The root's canal, allow these vessels and nerves to extend
to the bone. Deep tooth
decay, or injury can cause serious damage and infection to the pulps
nerves and vessels.
Infected & Inflamed Pulp
In Root canal
treatment the infected pulp chamber and canals are cleaned. The treatment is
carried out with the use of local anaesthetic and is generally pain
free. The treatment involves the removal of all infected tissue from
the root canal, by cleaning and filling to prevent any further
infection. This procedure normally takes more than one visit and a
temporary filling is usually inserted to give the tooth and
surrounding area time to settle. The tooth is checked on a later
visit and permanently filled. Occasionally the tooth can darken
after root canal treatment but if this does occur there are several
procedures that may be carried out to restore the natural appearance
of the tooth.
Damaged Pulp & Abscess
indications of the need for root canal treatment may be:
pain or throbbing
while biting or chewing
to hot and cold
decay or injury that causes an abscess (infection) in the bone
surrounding the tooth.
treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves
the following steps:
start with local anesthesia on the tooth on which root canal
treatment is to be performed. This primarily avoids any pain and
helps you be cooperative to the treatment. After your tooth is numb,
the endodontist places a small protective sheet called a
"dental dam" over the area to isolate the tooth and keep
it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
endodontists makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small
instruments are used to clean and shape the pulp chamber and root
canals, to prepare the canals for filling. On
back teeth this hole is made on the chewing surface of the tooth. On
front teeth the access hole is made on the tooth's backside
the space is cleaned and shaped, the endodontist fills the root
canals with a biocompatible material, usually with a rubber-like
material called "gutta-percha" The gutta-percha is placed
with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root
canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the
opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist
before the tooth is restored.
the final visit with your endodontist, you must return to your
dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to
protect and restore it to it's full function. If the tooth lacks
sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, your dentist
or endodontist may place a post inside the tooth.
of needing root canal treatment include pain, prolonged sensitivity
to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of
the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes
as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues. Sometimes, however,
there are no symptoms.