What Happens During Endodontic Treatment? or What is a Root Canal?

A local anaesthetic will be given. A sheet of latex called the “rubber dam” (we’ve got nonlatex ones too) will be placed around the tooth to isolate it like a surgical drape, hence keeping it clean and dry during treatment. The treatment consists of three or four basic steps, but the number of visits will depend on your particular case. Most treatments take 2 visits with some cases requiring only a single appointment. Occasionally 3 appointments are needed.

In any case, it depends on the degree of infection/inflammation and degree of treatment difficulty, hence the decision to treat a particular tooth over one or more visit is made to achieve the best possible outcome.

There are, of course, no guarantees. This said, root canal or endodontic therapy can be quite predictable and an reliable way to treat an otherwise infected or inflamed tooth. We will discuss with you the chances of success before any endodontic procedure to help you make an informed decision. If a root canal or endodontic therapy is unsuccessful or fails you still have options.

Root canal therapy is one of the most common dental procedures performed, almost 15 million cases every year. This treatment can save your tooth and prevent the need for extraction and costly replacements. There are many reasons why a root canal maybe indicated. It can be from trauma, deep decay, crack or repeated dental work on the same tooth.

Symptoms may include sensitivity to hot or cold, pain upon biting or spontaneous pain. In some cases there maybe no pain at all, but an infection is present. A thorough examination with x-rays will help form a diagnosis. If a root canal is indicated it involves local anaesthesia and maybe completed in one or more visits. We have many ways to achieve profound anaesthesia and our office thrives on making you as comfortable as possible. In addition we can provide oral sedation for our more anxious patients. Root canal therapy is very successful, but as with any medical or dental procedure success can vary with each individual case. The success is also dependent upon following up with your general dentist in a timely manner. They will provide a permanent restoration and seal for the root canal.

If you want more detailed information about root canal treatment click here.

What is retreatment

Sometimes it is necessary to re-do root canal treatment, usually because of either a persistant infection following earlier treatment or somehow bacteria have been able to re-enter the treated root canal system. The process involves removal of the previous root filling, re-cleaning the canals with the aim of eliminating infection and then root filling to re-seal the root canal system.

Endodontic retreatment is usually a more complicated procedure and may require advanced techniques in order to optimise the treatment outcome. We have considerable experience in retreatment procedures, and can usually restore your tooth and surrounding tissues to health. Not only is important to be able to manage this more complicated situation but it is also important where possible to identify and rectify the cause of this recontamination of the root canal space.

More detailed information about root canal retreatment is click here.

What is endodontic surgery

Endodontic microsurgery is a procedure where rather than accessing the tooth through the mouth the gum is lifted to give access to the infected or diseased tissue, usually at the root apex. This form of treatment is sometimes necessary following previously unsuccessful endodontic treatment, especially in cases where conventional retreatment is complicated by other factors. In these cases it is very important to consider the reason that the case requires a surgical approach as there are a limited range of situations where surgery is indicated.

Should endodontic surgery be considered then the implications of this treatment option will be reviewed and discussed in detail, including why it has been suggested and why traditional root canal treatment is not the best treatment option.

More detailed information about endodontic surgery can be found here.

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