The word endodontics not mean much to you but it’s actually just the technical term for root canal treatment. Sometimes, the blood or nerve supply to a tooth (the pulp) can become infected following damage or decay and when that happens, it can spread through the root canal system, which may eventually cause an abscess to form. That’s when root canal treatment becomes necessary to prevent the infection spreading further and the risk of subsequent loss of the tooth.
If all this sounds a bit drastic, don’t worry, it’s not uncomfortable. A local anesthetic is used and you shouldn’t find the experience any different to having an ordinary filling. However, root canal treatment is more time-consuming than standard fillings and you’ll probably need to come and see us at The Dental Studio in Colchester more than once before it’s complete. It will be necessary to remove all the infected pulp and to drain any abscesses. The root canal will then be ready for thorough cleaning and shaping to accommodate the filling. A temporary filling is used to allow the infection to clear and the tooth to settle down, prior to permanent filling.
All this can usually be achieved without any discolouring but should this occur, the natural appearance of the tooth can be restored in a variety of ways. Root Canal Treatment is generally very successful and effective but can if necessary be repeated should the infection recur.
The only alternative would be to have the tooth removed because infected pulp cannot heal and the problem is only likely to spread. Root Canal work is a far better solution so that as many natural teeth as possible can be retained.
Whilst the tooth will be stable after the procedure, it is usually advisable to have a crown which will support and strengthen the restoration work. However root-treated teeth don’t require any special care – just look after them according to the normal rules of tooth care and oral hygiene.