Root canal treatment

What is a root canal treatment?

It is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. Teeth are made of several layers. In its center, we have the dental pulp: a soft tissue that contains the nerves and blood vessels that allow the tooth to develop. Once the tooth has finished growing, it can survive without pulp.

When the pulp is injured or infected, it will have to be removed. This treatment is called root canal treatment or endodontic treatment.

When do you need a root canal treatment?

The dental pulp can be damaged by an enamel crack, a deep cavity or an accident. Bacteria can, then, penetrate the tooth and contaminate soft tissue, which can cause pain or/and inflammation. Sometimes, the pulp can die gradually, without pain.

This type of infection, even if silent, can weaken the surrounding bone and gums and could be spread through the blood to other vital organs. By detecting certain signs and using appropriate x-ray and tests, we can confirm the irreversible damage to the pulp, which will require root canal treatment.

Endodontic treatment might be the only way to save a tooth. Whenever possible, it is preferable to keep your natural teeth, even if they are devitalized, rather than extract them.

The procedure

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and is generally painless; the canal is disinfected, filled and sealed. All that remains is to restore the visible part of the tooth. The more damaged the tooth, the stronger the restoration should be to protect it from possible fracture. One or more posts and a crown might be recommended.

Endodontic treatment may require one or more visits, depending on the complexity of the anatomy of the root canal, the extent of damage to the pulp and how many canals the tooth has.

A significant improvement is often felt following the procedure. It can happen that the tooth is sensitive after treatment, especially during chewing. This discomfort usually disappears after a few days