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Introduction

A branch of Dentistry which deals with the tooth's pulp diseases is Endodontics. The tooth's pulp is situated in the root canals of the tooth. The pulp is the source of nourishment of each tooth as it contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues.

The treatment which would remove the pulp is called Endodontic Treatment or the Root Canal Treatment (as it is commonly called).

Why Root Canal Treatment is Needed?

Root Canal or Endodontic Treatment is done when there is infection and when damage to the pulp has occurred which cannot be reversed.

Infection befalls on teeth whenever a cavity which was left untreated spreads and infects the pulp. The said infection causes the enamel and the dentin to soften and eventually erode. To prevent further damage to the clinical crown of the tooth, Root Canal Treatment is advised. The Pulp is removed and a final restoration takes place.

Damage to the pulp which cannot be reversed usually occurs when accidents happen. A fractured and a traumatized tooth can possibly damage the pulp. This might lead to Root Canal Treatment as it is vital to remove the pulp before it affects the whole tooth totally.

 
  Signs and Symptoms that you might need a Root Canal Treatment:

Should you observe any or all of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, it is advised that you seek dental advice right away.

 
Your tooth is sensitive to heat and cold for more than 5 seconds.
 
Your tooth hurts when you touch and push on it or when you put pressure on it.
 
You observe swelling around or near the specific tooth.
 
Your tooth has discolored.
 
Your tooth is broken.
 
  Root Canal Treatment is quite a lengthy procedure but on a case-to-case basis. There are times when a one-seating Root Canal Treatment may be done if the case is very much simple and uncomplicated. For Complicated Cases, several seating appointments have to be made to finish the treatment.

First, the dentist numbs the area of the specific tooth which needs Root Canal Treatment, and then he makes a hole on your tooth to be directed to the canal. While at the canal, he will have to remove and clean all of the diseased pulp. He will then have an x-ray to be able to determine and measure the length of your canal and they may also use a device called the Apex Locator. Next, the dentist shall use special instruments and tools to be able to clean the canals thoroughly. The canals are cleaned with antiseptic to treat and prevent further infection.

When the canals are already clean, they are then filled or obturated and a temporary filling is placed over the tooth. By now, your tooth should not be sensitive to heat and cold anymore as the pulp has been removed.

The Root Canal treated tooth will then receive its final restoration. Most often than not, Crowns are placed as the final restoration for Endodontically-treated tooth.

 
 

After having a Root Canal Treatment, and you feel that your tooth is still sensitive to heat and cold, it is advised to have a re-treatment of your root canal.

Reasons for Re-Treatment:

 
 
Incomplete obturation of root canal.
 
When tooth is still sensitive to heat and cold.
 
When there is swelling around near the tooth.
 
When pain is felt when chewing.
 
X-ray showing re-entry of bacteria to the root canal.
 
Recurrent infection.