What is endodontic or root canal treatment?
Whenever possible it is recommended to save a natural tooth and endodontic treatment is the last option for tooth that would otherwise require extraction. The procedure involves numbing the tooth with local anesthetic prior to placement of a dental dam, a rubber sheet which isolates the tooth from the saliva in the mouth. A hole is made in the top of the tooth (or cap if present) which then allows direct access into the pulp or nerve space. The root canals are located, cleaned and shaped using small files then medicated. At the return visit the root canals are filled and the tooth sealed with a foundation filling. In some situations the treatment can be completed at the first visit. You will be advised if your tooth is suitable for this single visit procedure.
The treatment is reviewed some months after the original treatment to confirm that healing is underway. The majority of root filled teeth require a crown or cap after the review to protect them from fracture and prevent bacteria re-entering the root canal space.