Downloads for Dental Colleagues

Root Canal Treatment / Endodontics

Sometimes the nerve/pulp inside your tooth becomes inflamed or infected.
This can be caused by deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, a crack or chip in the tooth, or a blow to the tooth. Once it has been confirmed that the pulp is irreversibly damaged then the dying pulp must be removed and the root canals are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and filled.

General dentists have all received basic training in endodontics/root canal therapy, BUT they may refer you to a Specialist Endodontist due to the complexity of an infected tooth or simply to ensure maximum predictability of health of the tooth if expensive, cosmetic or complex restorations are to be made.

In order to preserve a tooth that is ‘dying’, it is necessary to remove the infected and inflamed pulp tissue from inside the roots to prevent further spread into the surrounding tissues. The roots are then filled and sealed. This procedure is known as endodontic or root canal therapy. Endodontic therapy is concerned with removing only the pulp from the root canal, so the root and tooth will remain intact and continue to function normally in jaw bone after the treatment.
Afterwards, the tooth will need a permanent filling and crown to protect it’s long-term function.

For the first few days after treatment the tooth may feel a little ‘achy’, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort is sometimes caused by the fact that we have instrumented and disturbed the infected area just outside the end of the roots and the pressure of applying the root-filling. This can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Evidence shows that taking an anti-inflammatory just before and after the treatment (e.g. 400 mg Ibuprofen, “Nurofen Plus”), or if you have a medical condition that precludes you taking his type of painkiller (e.g. asthma, gastric ulcer), then 1000mg Paracetomol will help in minimising the discomfort.