Root canal treatment, Endodontics, is the area of dentistry concerned with treatment of the dental pulp (the tooth’s soft core). Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were extracted. Today, endodontic treatment gives us a safe and effective means of saving teeth.
The pulp is the tissue that contains the nerves, arteries, veins and lymph vessels of a tooth. It lies within the dentin where the pulp extends from the pulp chamber in the crown (the portion of the tooth visible above the gums) down to the tip of the root by way of the root canal. All teeth have only one pulp chamber, but teeth with more than one root will have more than one canal.
When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, the pulp dies. The most common cause of pulp death is a tooth fracture or a deep cavity that exposes the pulp to saliva. The bacteria found in saliva cause infection inside the tooth. Left untreated, the infection eventually causes the pulp to die. Pus can build up at the root tip, forming an abscess that can destroy the supporting bone that surrounds the tooth.
Procedure of Root Canal Treatment
Local anaesthesia is always given prior to treatment so that you will be completely comfortable. An opening is then made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
The pulp is then removed carefully from both the pulp chamber and root canal(s). The root canal(s) is cleaned, enlarged and shaped to a form that can be filled.
Medication may be put in the pulp chamber and root canal(s) to help eliminate the bacteria.
A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to prevent saliva from getting into the chamber and root canals. You might also be given antibiotics if infection is present and has spread beyond the end of the roots(s).
The temporary filling is removed. The root canal(s) are then filled and permanently sealed with a natural, biocompatible material, usually gutta-percha.
A crown made of porcelain is placed over the tooth to restore structure, function and appearance.
Single Sitting Root Canal Treatment
In some endodontic cases, it is now possible to provide root canal treatment in just one sitting. Though such cased need to be properly selected. Also the clear understanding should be there for basic concepts of all the phases of planned treatment. ProTaper system is proving boon in Endodontics.