Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

1. Endodontics (from the Greek word, endo “inside”; and odons “tooth”) is the dental specialty that treats the inside of the tooth. The soft tissue inside the tooth (pulp) and root canals can become diseased, infected or inflamed for various reasons, causing severe toothache. Endodontic treatment or more commonly root canal treatment involves the removal of the diseased tissue, cleaning and shaping of the root canals before sealing them.

2. Prior to the root canal treatment, the tooth is x-rayed. The x-ray image provides useful information about the inside of the tooth including the presence of disease, number and shape of the root canals etc. Root canal treatment may begin with the administering of local anesthetic and you will remain awake throughout the procedure. Anesthesia is sometimes not necessary, your endodontist will discuss this with you.

3. The tooth to be treated is isolated from the rest of the mouth by a thin rubber sheet held in place by a metal clip. This keeps the tooth dry and allows the inside of the tooth and root canals to be treated in a clean and controlled environment. It also allows the use of chemical irrigants and instrument without them coming into contact with the mouth.



4. An opening is made through the top of the tooth so that the inside of the tooth can be reached. The diseased pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned. A series of files of increasing diameter is used to shape the root canals for the root filling to follow. During the canal shaping, saline and Sodium Hypochlorite are used regularly to flush out the debris. The canals are dried and medicament placed in them. This completes the first visit. The tooth is sealed by a temporary filling until the next appointment.

5. At the same or the next appointment, a bio-compatible rubber material called gutta percha and a sealer paste will be used to fill the root canals. To close the opening in the tooth made at the start of treatment, a tooth filling is placed. As the tooth requiring root canal treatment often has a large filling or extensive decay, a crown is needed to protect and restore it to full function. Your endodontist will return you to the care of your dentist, who will discuss the need for any additional dental work with you.


Case Study : Root Canal Treatment

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