Root canal treatment

A root canal is the treatment of choice to “save” a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted due to infection or severe trauma. With early diagnosis of a tooth requiring root canal therapy, treatment can be completed with a high degree of success, comfort and longevity.

When root canal treatment is indicated

Root canal treatment involves the removal of infected tissue from the internal root canal space of a tooth. Common causes of infection of the dental pulp include:

Symptoms that may indicate a tooth requires root canal therapy

What to expect

Root canal treatment typically takes between 2 to 3 appointments to complete depending on the location of the tooth.
During the first appointment, while the tooth is numb, a rubber dam is placed to keep the area dry and free of saliva. The tooth will be accessed and the canals within which the infected tissue is contained is thoroughly cleaned and prepared with rotary files and chemical disinfection. If tooth decay is present, this will also be removed. Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with a temporary filling and antibacterial dressings placed to assist the healing process prior to the next appointment.

At the next visit, the canals will be sealed with a filling material to prevent future bacterial ingression and a permanent filling material will be placed to cover the access opening on top of the tooth. All teeth that undergo root canal treatment are more susceptible to breakage and fractures, and therefore will usually require a crown (cap) to be placed in order to restore it to its full function and to protect against premature fractures.

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