Endodontics is the discipline of dentistry that prevents or treats diseases of a the dental pulp and surrounding tissues. The dental pulp is the soft tissue in the centre of a tooth within which are the blood vessels and nerve fibres.
Endodontics, commonly referred to as root canal treatment, involves protecting or removing the pulp from a tooth to prevent or treat disease, in particular infection. The disease itself can be extremely painful and if left untreated can lead to an abscess, an infection affecting the tissues surrounding the tooth roots.
Common reasons for needing endodontic treatment are tooth decay, cracks or fractures of the crown or a leaking filling that has allowed infection in to the area of the pulp.
Endodontic treatment may also be carried out on teeth that have previously been root treated either to treat or prevent infection or to provide a dependable foundation for a new filling or crown, this is commonly referred to as root canal retreatment.
The ultimate goal of endodontic treatment is to save teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted. It is carried out under local anaesthetic just like a regular filling and typically the success rates are extremely high and on a par with treatment alternatives such as extractions followed by an implant.
The process of endodontic treatment can be time-consuming but with the use of the latest techniques and with the care of our highly skilled Specialist Endodontist, involves little or no discomfort, usually over 1 or 2 visits.
Teeth that have had undergone endodontic treatment will need to be carefully restored usually by the referring general dentist with either a new filling or a crown for the best long-term outcome.