Endodontics or root canal treatment is the cleaning, shaping and sealing of the onternal aspect of the tooth.
When the internal nerve and blood supply of the tooth, also known as the root canal, becomes inflamed and then infected it can lead to pain, abscess or swelling.
This infection needs to be removed by one of two options either, root canal treatment or extraction. Thus root canal treatment can save a tooth that is in trouble.
The dentist with the help of profound anaesthesia has to remove the inflamed and infected tissue from the root canal by the use of disinfectants and special shaped files.All of this treatment is completed safely using rubber dam isolation which helps to isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth. Gutta percha which is a rubbery filler is then used to seal the canals and maintain health.
Once treated the tooth is now free from infection but may need to be reinforced as it is slightly weaker as a result of all the treatment carried out on it. We can strengthen the tooth by use of a crown which holds the tooth together very much like a band on a barrel.
Root canal treatment can be tricky as the canals can be very fine, curved and sometimes difficult to locate and access. There are specialists in this field called endondontists who help us with the difficult cases. Some teeth have more than one canal and depending on the position of the tooth in the mouth and the shape of these multiple canals can increase the complexity of he tooth.
Digital x-rays allow for the accurate location and measurement of the root canal. Further special equipment is used to fill and seal the canal with warmed gutta percha.