Endodontic treatment



  1. What is endodontic treatment?
  2. What leads to having endodontic treatment?
  3. What happens when you have an endodontic procedure?
  4. How long does it take to recover from endodontic treatment?
  5. Which specialist performs endodontic treatment?


What is endodontic treatment?

Endodontic treatment, also known as root canal treatment, is a procedure that removes infection from the pulp in the centre of a tooth. It aims to prevent reinfection and save the natural tooth.





What leads to having endodontic treatment?

Root canal treatment can be necessary due to various reasons. These can include:


  • A cracked tooth
  • A deep cavity
  • Issues caused by a previous filling
  • A loose tooth


The symptoms that may result can be:


  • Severe pain when eating or drinking, including biting and chewing
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Darkening of gums or tooth
  • Facial swelling
  • Pus coming out of the affected tooth


If you develop toothache, it's important to see your dentist. The infected pulp doesn't heal itself and leaving the tooth in your mouth may make it worse. If the infection worsens, there may be less chance of the endodontic treatment working.



What happens when you have an endodontic procedure?

Root canal treatment involves removal of inflamed or infected pulp. Before the treatment begins, you will usually be given a local anaesthetic so the procedure should be painless. The inside of the tooth is then carefully cleaned and disinfected, then sealed with a filling or crown.


In some cases the tooth can be extracted. However, it's better to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible. The advantages of this include efficient chewing and normal biting force and sensation, alongside natural appearance and protection of other teeth from excessive wear or strain. There can be more work involved like bridge or implant procedures if you have a tooth, or teeth, extracted.   


In most cases, the inflamed pulp tissue will naturally heal after endodontic treatment. In about nine out of 10 cases, a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.



How long does it take to recover from endodontic treatment?

The whole root canal procedure can usually be completed in one or two appointments. The treated area will likely to be numb for a few hours following endodontic treatment but most patients are able to return to their everyday activities immediately after a root canal.


Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days and you can take paracetamol or ibuprofen, available over the counter, for any discomfort. If you have pain or swelling after using painkillers, return to your dentist.



Which specialist performs endodontic treatment?

Endodontists are specialists in diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatment. However, general dentists also treat root canals. 

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