Root Canal Treatment (Endontics)
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected.
This allows a tooth to be saved that would otherwise be lost.
The soft tissue inside the tooth (the nerve or pulp) becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation can be caused by tooth deep decay, a tooth that has been treated many times, a crack or a knock and sometimes a pulp will die in a tooth that has never needed treatment before.
Although the “nerve” of a tooth is removed during a root canal treatment (RCT) the tooth is still nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Root Canal Treatments done properly have a high success rate and so the tooth can be preserved.
The whole RCT process can take three to four visits, but you will generally be out of pain after the first visit.
Three visits are common although this can vary depending on the strength of the infection, a person’s individual body response and the actual anatomy of the tooth which varies between different people and different teeth.
During Root Canal Treatment the inflamed or infected soft tissue inside your tooth is removed and the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected.
Between each visit the tooth is not properly filled but rather a temporarily protective “plug” is used that can be easily removed for the next visit.
For this reason it is recommended that visits be spaced somewhere between a week and a fortnight.
The final visit of your Root Canal Treatment is to fill and seal the canals with a rubber type material called ‘gutta percha‘.
After the completion of the Root Canal Treatment the tooth is then restored with a filling or a core with posts and pins to give the tooth a solid foundation for a crown …
It then continues to function like a normal tooth.