treatment (or root canal therapy) is performed to save the
natural tooth. In spite of the many advanced restorations
available, most dentists agree that there is no substitute for
healthy, natural teeth.
Here are some of the main causes of inner tooth damage:
Oral bacteria is the most common cause of endodontic problems.
Bacteria invade the tooth pulp through tiny fissures in the
teeth caused by tooth decay or injury. The resulting
inflammation and bacterial infection jeopardize the affected
tooth and may cause an abscess to form.
Fractures and chips
When a large part of the surface or crown of the tooth has
become completely detached, root canal therapy may be
required. The removal of the crown portion leaves the pulp
exposed, which can be debilitating painful and problematic..
Injuries to the teeth can be caused by a direct or indirect
blow to the mouth area. Some injuries cause a tooth to become
luxated, or dislodged from its socket. Root canal therapy is
often needed after the dentist has successfully stabilized the
If a tooth has been knocked clean out of the socket, it is
important place it back into the socket as quickly as
possible! If this is impossible, place the tooth in special
dental solution (available at pharmacies) or in milk. These
steps will keep the inner mechanisms of the tooth moist and
alive while emergency dental treatment is sought. The tooth
will be affixed in its socket using a special splint, and the
dentist will then perform root canal therapy to save the
What does an endodontic procedure invlove?
Root canal therapy usually takes between one and three visits to
complete. Complete X-rays of the teeth will be taken and
examined before the treatment begins.
local anesthetic will be administered, and a dental dam
(protective sheet) will be placed to ensure that the surgical
area remains free of saliva during the treatment. An opening
will be created in the surface of the tooth, and the pulp will
be completely removed using small handheld instruments.
The space will now be shaped, cleaned and filled with
gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is a biocompatible material that is
somewhat similar to rubber. Cement will be applied on top to
ensure that the root canals are completely sealed off. Usually,
a temporary filling will be placed to restore functionality to
the tooth prior to the permanent restoration procedure. During
the final visit, a permanent restoration or crown will be