Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with diseases affecting tooth pulp and tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. At the centre of a tooth, there is a hollow area with a soft tissue called pulp. This connects to the root of the tooth with canals. Human teeth normally have one to four canals depending on the position of the tooth in the oral cavity. The pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels and are essential for the growth and health of our teeth, can become diseased or injured. The pulp then dies and endodontic treatment is required. The most common procedure done in endodontics is root-canal therapy, which involves the removal of diseased pulp tissue and saves the tooth from extraction or falling out.
Root canal therapy
For patients, root canal therapy is one of the most feared procedures, but opposed to common belief modern treatments are relatively painless. Here you can read step by step description of a successful root canal therapy. After the diagnosis is clear and root canal treatment is recommended to save a tooth, our dentist will take a dental x-ray to determine the number and shape of its roots. Local anaesthetics is used to make the procedure pain-free. Although, when the area around the tooth is swollen, it is best to drain the fluid from the area first, therefore releasing the pressure that causes the pain. Our dentist then prescribes a week of antibiotics, which will reduce the infection. One of the most important things in root canal therapy is to isolate the treated tooth and provide a clean and hygienic environment. After removing the infected pulp, our dentist tracks the canal entry opening and measures its length with a device called apex locator.
The advantages of this tool over x-ray is, that it is faster, there is no radiation and it can be used when treating pregnant women. In the next step, the root canal is cleaned, sterilised and widened with a hand or electric tool. Once that is done, our dentist fills the cavity with a special material and seals the opening. Following a successful root canal therapy, the treated tooth will be painless again and will regain its full chewing function.