Endodontic οr Root canal is the treatment to repair and save a severly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it and having to replace it with an implant, bridge or removable partial denture. The term “root canal” comes from the cleaning of the canals inside a tooth’s root. With the latest dental techniques and local anaesthesia the procedure is almost painless.
To complete the treatment it usually takes one to three visits depending on the extent of the damage, infection and number of roots of the tooth.
At the 1st appointment, the dentist will remove all the diseased pulp (nerve) from the pulp chamber in the molar and root canals, and clean and disinfect the area.
At the 2nd appointment, the root canals will be widened and shaped to allow better access when filling them with a biocompatible material later.
At the 3rd appointment, the root canals will be blocked with a biocompatible thermoplastic material called gutta-percha.
During the procedure, the dentist will take small intraoral X-rays to see the correct progress of the treatment inside the root.
After the endodontic treatment of the tooth, it is always recommended to place a crown (case) to protect the tooth from possible future fractures. This can happen because the endodontically treated tooth usually has a previous large filling or is damaged by extensive decay. It is more fragile because it is no longer fed by its pulp but only by the surrounding tissues.
When root canal is needed?
1. Infection of the pulp
2. Irreversible damage of the pulp
3. when an abscess is detected on the Xray
When root canal treatment is advised
• When swelling is observed in the area of the gums around the tooth
• Constant tooth pain during mastication or chewing
• Severe toothache that lasts and is repeatable on extreme cold and hot
• Darkening of o tooth
• when there is a very big cavity that reaches the pulp chamber
What are the signs that I need root canal treatment?
1. When there is swelling in the gum area around the tooth or you get a pimple on the gums near the tooth (fistula).
2. Constant toothache while chewing.
3. Intense toothache that lasts after cold or hot food/drink or sweets.
4. Sudden radiating pain in the ear or temple.
5. When the tooth turns gray.
6. When there is a very large cavity-hole that reaches the nerve of the tooth.
*Caution, clinical and radiographic evaluation by your dentist is always needed when these signs are present for a correct diagnosis.*