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Root Canal Therapy

ROOT CANAL THERAPY

Root canal treatment is an often-straightforward procedure to relieve dental pain and infection and save your teeth. 

In the centre of the tooth is the pulp tissue located in the pulp chamber and root canal spaces (see fig 1). The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development. A fully developed tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it. 

Figure 1: Root Canal Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 1

Root canal treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth.

When one undergoes a root canal, the inflamed or infected pulp (Fig 2) is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed (Fig 3 & 4). Following completion of root canal treatment, you return to your general dentist to have a permanent core or crown placed on the tooth (always ask your dentist or endodontist for details about the specific restoration planned for your tooth) (Fig 5).  

The tooth is monitored over time to assess healing. 

A modern root canal treatment is nothing like those of yester-years.

It is similar to a routine filling and can usually be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. Getting a root canal is relatively painless and extremely effective. 

For more detailed information, click the 'Watch Video' button below.

Adapted from AAE.org

FIGURE 2-Root Canal Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 2
FIGURE 3-Root Canal Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 4
FIGURE 3-Root Canal Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 3
FIGURE 2 - Root Canal Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 5
  • Why do I need root canal treatment?
    The pulp inside your tooth has become inflamed or infected. Reasons for this include deep cavities, cracks or chips on the tooth or traumatic dental injuries.
  • What are some indications that I may need root canal treatment?
    Severe pain while chewing or biting Pimples on the gums A chipped or cracked tooth that elicits pain Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the sensation has been removed Swollen or tender gums Deep decay
  • Will the treatment hurt (during or after)?
    Root canal treatments are usually performed to help patients get out of pain. During the procedure, local anaesthesia is administered, so it is no more painful than any other dental procedure carried out under anaesthesia. Following treatment, however, a patient may experience some tenderness or soreness in the area. This usually goes away within a few days. Of note, your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from the other teeth for some time.
  • How much will treatment cost?
    The cost of treatment depends on the complexity of the case as well as the tooth to be treated.

ROOT CANAL THERAPY FAQs

Root Canal FAQs
Retreatment

RETREATMENT

With proper care, a root canal treated tooth can last a lifetime but in some cases a tooth may not heal or may become diseased once again. When this happens, you may have another chance to save the tooth by doing retreatment. 

During retreatment, the endodontist reopens the tooth and removes the filling materials that were placed in the root canals during the first procedure. The endodontist then carefully examines the tooth, looking for additional canals or other sources for the new or persistent infection. The endodontist then cleans and shapes the canals and places new filling materials. The opening is then sealed with a temporary filling. Once the tooth heals, a new crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect it. 

Adapted from AAE.org

Figure 1 - Root Canal Retreatment Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 1
Figure 2 - Root Canal Retreatment Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 2
Figure 3 - Root Canal Retreatment Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 3
Figure 4 - Root Canal Retreatment Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 4

RETREATMENT FAQs

  • Why do I need root canal treatment?
    The pulp inside your tooth has become inflamed or infected. Reasons for this include deep cavities, cracks or chips on the tooth or traumatic dental injuries.
  • What are some indications that I may need root canal treatment?
    Severe pain while chewing or biting Pimples on the gums A chipped or cracked tooth that elicits pain Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the sensation has been removed Swollen or tender gums Deep decay
  • Will the treatment hurt (during or after)?
    Root canal treatments are usually performed to help patients get out of pain. During the procedure, local anaesthesia is administered, so it is no more painful than any other dental procedure carried out under anaesthesia. Following treatment, however, a patient may experience some tenderness or soreness in the area. This usually goes away within a few days. Of note, your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from the other teeth for some time.
  • How much will treatment cost?
    The cost of treatment depends on the complexity of the case as well as the tooth to be treated.
Image by Umanoide
Apical Surgery

APICAL SURGERY

It is possible that a nonsurgical root canal procedure will not be enough to save your tooth and that your endodontist will recommend surgery.

Endodontic surgery can be used to locate small fractures or hidden canals previously undetected on X-rays during the initial treatment.

 

Surgery may also be needed to remove calcium deposits or other materials in root canals, or to treat damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone of the tooth. Advanced technologies like digital imaging and operating microscopes allow these procedures to be performed quickly, comfortably, and successfully. 

How it works is that your endodontist performs this micro surgical procedure by first making you comfortable by applying local anaesthesia before opening the gum (Fig 1). The very end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and a few stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal (Fig 2). In the next few months, the bone will heal around the end of the root (Fig 3). Most patients return to their normal activities the next day. 

Adapted from AAE.org

Figure 1 - Apical Surgery Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 1
Fig 2
Figure 2 - Apical Surgery Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Figure 3 - Apical Surgery Scientific Image - Dr. Caithlin Williams-Beecher
Fig 3

APICAL SURGERY FAQs

  • Why do I need root canal treatment?
    The pulp inside your tooth has become inflamed or infected. Reasons for this include deep cavities, cracks or chips on the tooth or traumatic dental injuries.
  • What are some indications that I may need root canal treatment?
    Severe pain while chewing or biting Pimples on the gums A chipped or cracked tooth that elicits pain Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the sensation has been removed Swollen or tender gums Deep decay
  • Will the treatment hurt (during or after)?
    Root canal treatments are usually performed to help patients get out of pain. During the procedure, local anaesthesia is administered, so it is no more painful than any other dental procedure carried out under anaesthesia. Following treatment, however, a patient may experience some tenderness or soreness in the area. This usually goes away within a few days. Of note, your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from the other teeth for some time.
  • How much will treatment cost?
    The cost of treatment depends on the complexity of the case as well as the tooth to be treated.

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