Root canal treatment is also known as endodontics, a term which stems from the Greek word’s “endo”- inside- and “odont”- tooth. It involves the removal of inflamed, diseased or injured soft tissue and or bacteria from inside the central pulp chamber or root canal cavity of a tooth. This soft tissue is known as the pulp and is composed of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue.
Why is root canal treatment needed?
If the pulp becomes infected, the infection my spread through the root canal
system of the tooth, which may eventually lead to an abscess.
If the root canal treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread into
the bone and the tooth may need to be taken out.
Does it hurt?
No. A local anaesthetic is used and the whole procedure should feel no different
to that of having an ordinary filling done.
What does it involve?
The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is
then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection.
RCT is a skilled and time consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will
involve two or more visits to the Endodontist.
At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses, which may
be present, can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned and
shaped ready for the filling. A bacterial dressing and a temporary filling is inserted and the tooth is left to settle. The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.
What if it happens again?
Root canal treatment is usually very successful, however if there should be a
recurrence of infection, the treatment can be repeated.
What if don’t have the treatment?
The alternative to RCT is the removal of the tooth.
Once the pulp is destroyed, it can’t heal and it is not recommended to leave an
infected tooth in the mouth, as the infection will spread.
Whilst some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually advisable to keep as
many natural teeth a possible.
Will the tooth e safe after treatment?
Yes. However, it is usually advisable to restore the tooth with a crown to provide
extra support and strength to the tooth.
What will my tooth look like after treatment?
In the past. A root filled tooth would often darken after treatment. However with
modern techniques, this does not usually happen. If any discolouration should
take place, there are several treatments available to restore the natural