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Conventional Endodontics

To understand how root canal treatment works, we need to have a basic understanding of the anatomy of the tooth. A tooth is hollow, like our bones, and is composed of several layers.

The outermost layer (above the gum-line) is called the enamel. Enamel is the hardest and most mineralized substance in the body.

Under the enamel is the middle layer called dentin. The dentin is about as hard as bone. Beneath the dentin is the innermost layer called the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the soft inner mass of the tooth. The dental pulp is housed in a canal called the root canal.

The pulp is needed to nourish the tooth during its growth and development. After a tooth is fully mature, the function of the pulp is to let us know if it is damaged or infected by transmitting pain.

Due to various reasons, it becomes necessary to remove the infected pulp, clean out the root canals and fill that space with a sterile material to prevent further infection. This procedure is called Endodontic Therapy or popularly known as root canal treatment.

Re-Treatment Endodontics

At times, the patient may come to the endodontist with a tooth that has already been root canal treated, but continues to be painful or infected. In theses cases the root canal treatment has to be repeated to eliminate the infection.

If any old crown (cap) is present, it is removed

The old filling material on the tooth is removed to gain entry into the root canals.

The old root canal filling is removed.

The canals are cleansed thoroughly to remove all the infection

A new root canal filling is placed.

The access cavity is filled with cement.

A new crown is made after ensuring that the tooth is comfortable.

Surgical Endodontics

If for some reason, an infection persists at the root tip in spite of conventional root canal treatment, it may be necessary to clean out the infected root tip surgically to remove all the infection.

The tooth and surrounding areas are anesthetized. A small opening is made near the tooth by reflecting the gum tissue away from the tooth.

The infected root tip is removed. A small filling is placed at the root tip to seal it. The opening in the gum is closed.

Steps in Root Canal Treatment:

If you have been given an appointment for a root canal treatment, kindly observe the following guidelines to ensure your comfort:

  • Medication: If medication has been prescribed, please take them as instructed.
  • Cancellations: Kindly avoid last minute cancellations. Cancellations should be made at least 24 hours in advance so that your slot can be allotted to someone else.
  • Punctuality: Please come on time. Try to reach at least 10 minutes before the appointment. This will help you in getting familiarized with the clinic and being relaxed. Traffic in Bangalore can be very slow. Do start from home early so that you have a lead time. We believe in providing our patients with the best possible treatment and for that we require adequate time.
  • Food: Do not come on an empty stomach. Have a meal 2-3 hours before the procedure. Anesthesia given for the root canal treatment may take about 2-3 hours to wear off. You may not be able to eat anything during this period.
  • Schedule: Be mentally relaxed for the entire procedure. Set aside enough time in your schedule for the root canal treatment. Although most root canals are completed in one and a half hours, keep yourself free for 2 hours. We are aware of how valuable your time is, but we do not want to be pressurized to finish a procedure fast because the patient has to rush back to the office. You don't have to undergo a root canal everyday, so take it easy!
  • Smile: It isn't as bad as you think. That's what every patient tells us after the procedure!

After a root canal treatment has been completed:

  • Do not eat anything till the anesthesia wears off. This may take about 2-3 hours.
  • Do not drink anything very hot till the numbness wears off. You may drink anything cold or at room temperature.
  • Expect some discomfort in the treated tooth for about 2 -3 days. This discomfort is usually mild. Take the prescribed medication without fail.
  • Do not chew on the treated tooth till your dentist tells you to.
  • You can brush normally over the root canal treated tooth.
  • Normally after a root canal, we wait for about 7-10 days to make sure the tooth is comfortable. After this period, a cap (crown) or Onlay is put on the tooth. Failure to put a cap can increase the chances of tooth fracture.

Steps in Root Canal Treatment: