20 May,

Endodontics Explained: The Facts You Need to Know About Root Canal Treatments

Endodontics is a specialist area of dentistry that is concerned with the health of the inside of your teeth. Although you may look at your teeth and assume they are completely solid bones, they are neither bone nor completely solid. 

Unlike bones, teeth cannot repair themselves, so it’s important to seek dental care when they’re damaged. Beneath the thick outer layers, the area inside your teeth is also soft and needs to be protected, or the tooth may become infected and need a root canal treatment. 

While many dentists perform root canal treatments, an endodontist specialising in this procedure has received advanced training and offers specialist care. 

Several common and unhelpful misconceptions about root canal treatments exist. This guide will explain why and how the procedure is performed and separate the truth from the fiction.


Teeth Can Have Multiple Root Canals

While many people refer to the treatment as “a root canal”, the name refers to a part of your teeth. Teeth can have between one and four root canals. The teeth at the front of your mouth used for biting will have a single root canal, while the rear molars used for chewing can have up to four. 

There is living tissue inside each of these root canals. Known as “dental pulp”, this collection of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerve endings can be found in the pulp chamber at the heart of each tooth extending down into the roots. 


Endodontic Treatments Remove Infected Pulp

If you’ve been told you need a root canal treatment, the dental pulp inside your tooth has become infected. This can occur when bacteria enter your tooth through a chip, crack, or cavity. 

The risk of infection is an important reason to have cavities and damage repaired early. 

When the bacteria reaches the dental pulp, the tissues become inflamed. This inflammation puts pressure on the nerve endings, leading to severe discomfort and toothache. The pain often makes sleeping, eating, and continuing your normal routine difficult. 


We Use X-rays To Spot Infection

Before we perform a root canal treatment, we need to see the extent of the infection. We’ll take X-rays to get a clearer picture of the inside of your tooth. This helps us remove all of the infected dental pulp. 


Removing Infected Matter Saves Teeth

Dental infections don’t go away on their own. If you have infected dental pulp, we must treat you, or the problem will worsen. 

Without treatment, your tooth will die. You will develop a painful abscess which is a pocket of pus under your tooth. This can cause harm to your gums, jaw, and adjacent teeth. 

In severe cases, infections that start in the teeth can spread to your vital organs if allowed to enter the bloodstream. 


Root Canal Treatments Are Not Painful 

While many people will wince at the prospect of a root canal treatment and tell you how painful it is, the truth is that your dental infection will cause you considerably more discomfort than the procedure to treat it. 

Before we do anything, we’ll give you an anaesthetic to ensure the most comfortable experience possible. 

Once your anaesthetic wears off, it’s normal to feel some sensitivity or soreness around, but the pain you were experiencing previously will have gone. 


Following the Root Canal, We Will Protect the Tooth

The procedure itself involves cleaning out the infected matter and sanitising the inside of your tooth. Once this is done, we’ll use a naturally occurring latex-like material called gutta percha to fill the inside of your tooth. 

Initially, we’ll close the tooth with a filling. We may recommend having a dental crown to fully repair the tooth and prevent any recurrences of infection. 


Endodontic Care at Canon House Clinic

You’re in the best hands for your endodontic treatment at Canon House Clinic. Although root canal treatments might sound frightening, they are routine procedures that eliminate pain and save your smile. 

If you’re concerned that you may have an infected tooth, contact us today to book an appointment.

Ask a Question

Get in touch with the Canon House Team to find out more about any aspect of cosmetic or restorative treatment.