Root canal treatment, also known as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy is a type of dental treatment in which the infected pulp of a tooth is eliminated and the tooth’s hollow roots are re-filled.

The tooth’s root is usually made up of nerve tissue, blood vessels and connective tissue. It’s very susceptible to infection if a cavity is large enough to reach it. If a large cavity forms, root canal treatment may be the only way to save the tooth from extraction.

Why should the pulp be removed?
When the tooth’s pulp is damaged or infected due to tooth decay, chips or cracks in the tooth or trauma, bacteria begins to multiply very fast in the pulp chamber. This can lead to an abscess in the tooth itself – a pocket full of pus that usually appears at the end of the root. Dental pulp infections can also lead to more problems, including:

● Bone loss at the root of the tooth
● Swelling around the tooth, neck, face and even head
● Pus drainage into the gums or cheek

A root canal treatment procedure can help patients avoid these problems altogether and in most cases, the tooth can be saved and further restored using other techniques (such as a crown or bridge). The tooth itself will maintain its full functionality after root canal treatment.

Root Canal Treatment Candidates

Root canal treatment or root canal therapy is recommended for patients with a damaged or infected tooth pulp. Using this type of endodontic therapy is better than simply extracting the tooth, since the patient’s natural teeth can be used as a foundation for other types of dental restoration (a dental crown or a bridge).

Am I Suitable for Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment or root canal therapy is not recommended in cases where the tooth is far too damaged for the treatment to be effective. In some cases, extraction may be necessary.

Preparing for Root Canal Treatment

Patients will be required to provide the dentist with X-rays, before travelling abroad for endodontic therapy. The dentist will inspect them and prepare a treatment plan based on these x-rays.

How is Root Canal Treatment Performed?

Local anaesthesia is first administered to the patient. Once it kicks in, the dentist will cover the patient’s tooth with a rubber dam in order to keep the area dry during the endodontic therapy session – this measure also helps to prevent infection.

A small hole is made at the top of the tooth, in order to reach the tooth’s pulp chamber and canals. The dental pulp is then carefully removed through the use of dentistry files. The canals and tooth chamber may also be widened in order to provide more room for the root canal filling. Once the infected tissue is removed from the tooth, the chamber and canals are filled.

The procedure is often time consuming – it takes around 3-4 hours to properly clean an infected tooth. Several sessions may be necessary for endodontic therapy.

Root Canal Treatment Recovery

The endodontic therapy will relieve the patient from any pain which might have been present before the procedure. During the recovery period, patients need to avoid chewing on the tooth before a permanent filling or crown is placed.

Root Canal Treatment Risks and Complications

Root canal therapy risks and complications can include:

● Reinfection of the tooth
● Nerve damage around the tooth
● Structural damage to the treated tooth

Root Canal Treatment Side Effects

Root canal treatment side effects can include one or more of the following:

● Increase in sensitivity to hot or cold
● Soreness around the tooth
● Discomfort

Root Canal Treatment Success Rates

Root canal treatment reviews set the average treatment success rate at 95%.

Before and After Root Canal Treatment

Once the root canal treatment is finished, patients can opt for a crown or a filling, depending on the remaining tooth structure. Fillings can last up to 7 years and dental crowns can last a lifetime, if properly cared for.