Endodontics – Root Canal Treatment

Rohan_DSunnucks_DIn the past, root canal treatment was often unsuccessful and not very pleasant – the good news is that this is no longer the case.

Tim and Rohan (our endodontic specialists) have massive experience and they use a high magnification microscope so that they can actually see the inside the roots – this dramatically increases the likelihood of successful treatment. It would be impractical for a general practice to have such a microscope, which is one of the reasons why referral to a specialist practice is best for endodontic treatment.

What is done during root canal?

Inside each root, there is a ‘canal’, and inside that is the nerve (which in clinical terms is called the ‘pulp’). The endodontist will first make sure that you will not feel any pain during the treatment by using very effective local anaesthetic, then he will very carefully and thoroughly clean the inside of the canals. When he is satisfied that the canals are 100% clean he will fill and seal them. This may be done over one, two or even three visits. Low dose digital x-rays are used as necessary.

Reasons why root canal treatment may be needed:

Pain relief: If the nerve becomes inflamed – perhaps because of some deep decay in the tooth – an infection may develop and the tooth will become painful to bite on. This can lead to an abscess and facial swelling. Root canal treatment will deal with the source of the infection, then your body’s own defences will take over to continue the healing process.

Re-treatment: Many of the patients who come to us have had previously unsuccessful root canal treatment. Back teeth usually have two to four canals, but in some cases five or even six. The usual reasons for failure are either because one or more canals have been missed, or because the root fillings do not extend right to the tip of the roots as they should.

Elective treatment: Root canal treatment may be recommended before a tooth is crowned if your dentist wants to be sure that the root will not give problems later.

Pain-free root canal treatment

As with all dental treatment, our aim is to carry out the treatment without pain or discomfort. Effective local anaesthesia is always given so there is no reason to be worried about root treatment.