Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment (also called Endodontics) is required when the pulp inside your tooth becomes inflamed or infected through tooth decay, bacteria or damaged by an injury to your mouth which can lead to the pulp dying off. If the infection is left untreated, it can spread through the root canal system and form an abscess which can cause considerable pain, swelling and discomfort.

In such situations, the options are either root canal treatment (RCT) or extraction. RCT is the preferred option in order to save the tooth (provided the tooth has a good prognosis otherwise). Usually, two or more appointments are required for an RCT, however, some cases can be completed in one visit depending on the level of infection, which tooth is being treated in relation to how many canals it has and ability to access, size and shape of the roots and whether the tooth has been previously root treated.

The Procedure

Your dentist will begin the RCT by administering local anaesthetic to numb the area completely and place a thin cover to isolate the tooth which not only prevents the canal from being contaminated with further bacteria but also prevents the patient from consuming any dental products used.

An opening is made through the top of the tooth to gain access to the canal/s and any decay present is also removed. The pulp of the tooth is removed and the canals are thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant, then dried to eliminate any bacteria and infection present. During this process, the canals are also shaped using tiny but specifically measured hand files or drills which allows them to be permanently filled with a material which prevents bacteria traveling down the canal.

After the RCT, the tooth will be weaker as it has no pulp or blood supply, hence, a crown is required to restore the tooth to prevent tooth fracture. The success of the RCT can never be guaranteed, although your dentist can advise whether a root canal treatment would have a good prognosis. Generally, if there are no complications during the treatment and restoration, long-term success is overall high. If an RCT fails, there can be the option of a re-root treatment.

Dr. Sreenesh Kandian holds a masters degree in Endodontics and has performed over 800 root canal treatments. He uses specialist equipment including magnifying loupes and is highly skilled in performing complex RCTs.

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