Endodontics, more commonly known as root canal therapy, is the treatment of diseased or injured dental pulp and its supporting tissues. The pulp is a core of nerves and blood vessels that sits inside the root canal in the centre of a tooth and each tooth can have one or more root canals.
If a tooth becomes damaged through advanced decay, gum disease or injury, the pulp can become infected by bacteria, causing it to die, and without treatment this can result in the loss of the tooth. If the infection spreads it may lead to the development of a painful abscess or affect your gums and the tissues and bones that support your teeth.
Root canal treatment is designed to prevent infection from spreading and preserve as much of the tooth as possible. Using special endodontic instruments the infected pulp is carefully removed and the root canal system thoroughly cleaned of all bacteria. The empty and sterilised root canal is then filled with a special material and permanently sealed, thereby saving the tooth from extraction.
At Woodlands Dental & Implant Centre, root canal treatment is carried out by our highly experienced Principal Dentist Dr Ahmed Alshafi who has a special interest in endodontics. Dr Alshafi will assess your condition and ensure there is sufficient tooth available to make treatment viable.
If you have been referred to us by your own dentist Dr Alshafi will carry out the treatment for which you have been referred and then return you to the care of your regular dentist who will complete any ongoing treatment.
Dr Alshafi will endeavour to carry out root canal treatment in one appointment if possible however in more complex cases patients may need a second appointment to finish the treatment. This reduces the inconvenience and discomfort for the patient.
You may be suffering from dental decay or your tooth may be fractured. In either case the pulp of the tooth has become infected and needs to be removed.
Every case is different and depending on the complexity you may need more than two appointments, which is the norm. At the first appointment we will assess your condition and ensure there is sufficient tooth available to make treatment viable. During this first appointment the pulp is usually removed and any abscesses are drained, giving you immediate relief from pain.
Under normal circumstances, root canal treatment is not painful. A local anesthetic is given to numb the area and following this you should experience no more pain than with a normal filling.