Root Canal Treatment (endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (pulp) is damaged due to decay or injury. It is most often needed in teeth which have deep fillings, or in teeth which have deep dental decay.
Why is root canal treatment needed?
If the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth eventually leading to an abscess. If Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is not performed, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be extracted. 3d Obturation is very useful in such situations.
What does root canal treatment involve?
The infected pulp is removed and any infection is drained. The root canals are then cleaned, disinfected and shaped until ready for the permanent root filling. Once the dentist is confident that the infection is gone, the root filling (a rubber material) is compressed into the canals to permanently seal them. Dr Wahba, a lutz dentist recommends a normal filling is then needed on top of the root filling to restore and seal the tooth. Sometimes the treatment will involve two or more long appointments.
A local Anaesthetic is used and the whole procedure should feel little different to that of having a normal filling although the appointment will usually be longer. There will usually be some pain or discomfort for 3-4 days following the treatment. The tooth may feel slightly tender and different for a few weeks following treatment. The alternative to RCT is the extraction of the tooth. Once the pulp is damaged, it cannot heal without treatment and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth.
Root canal treatment is usually successful in about 80% of cases, although this depends largely on the difficulty of the individual tooth. If there should be a recurrence of infection the treatment can usually be repeated. If a tooth has a particularly difficult shape, or a complication, it is possible to refer to a specialist who can use advanced techniques
and instruments to treat your tooth. Sometimes extraction of the tooth is the only option if treatment fails.
Root filled teeth are weaker and more brittle than live teeth. For this reason it is often advisable to restore the root-filled tooth with a crown or onlay to reinforce the tooth. We normally wait a few months after treatment so that we can be sure that the root canal treatment is OK prior to assessing whether crowning is advisable.