Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment also known as root canal therapy is used to treat a dying, dead or inflamed tooth pulp. The dental pulp is commonly known as the ‘nerve’. Endodontic or endodontology is the art and science of root canal treatment and is among the dental specialties that are recognized by the Dental Board of Australia (which maintains the register of specialist endodontists).
This board usually requires that a specialist endodontist should have a minimum of 3 years post graduate training. Endodontic treatment is used to treat an inflamed pulp or a dental pulp that has become necrotic (has died). A Dead or necrotic nerve can lead to the formation of an abscess.
Inflammation of the tooth pulp or pulp deaths can be caused by trauma such as a blow to the tooth or mouth, crack or split in the tooth, deep dental decay (dental caries), or a reaction to a very deep filling or the placement of a new crown on a compromised tooth.
Endodontic problems experienced during the acute phase include pain and swelling. However, in most cases, the patient does not feel any symptoms at all. Therefore, an endodontic problem can only be diagnosed by a routine radiograph or x-ray.
Root canal treatment
Endodontic treatment can be performed in one or two visits. First of all, your dentist or endodontic will create a small hole in the top of your tooth and then removes any dying or dead pulp using a series of fine files. After the canals have been shaped to enable filling, they are soaked with a strong antibacterial solution that makes all the bacteria ineffective.
After the antibacterial irrigation, the endodontic or dentist will dry the root canals using small, sterile paper cones and then fills the canals with a soft rubbery like material known as Gutta Percha. The final step in the management of the root filled tooth is the placement of a permanent restoration.
Sometimes, this may be a simple filling. However, in most cases, a crown or complex restoration is needed. Root canal treatment is not painful as dentists and endodontists usually use local anesthetic during all the stages.
However, you will experience a minimal post-operative discomfort which can be controlled using analgesics for a day or two. RCT’s success rate is usually very high when performed by an endodontist and the results quite predictable.