Endodontics (Root Canal Treatment)

Our dentists at the Saurel Dental Center perform canal treatments on all teeth, including molars.

Today’s dentists believe that our natural teeth are the best there is. This is why, at the Centre dentaire Saurel, we make sure that you keep your natural smile as long as possible. By keeping your teeth natural, you prevent other teeth from losing their alignment and causing jaw problems or gum disease. Finally, by saving them, you avoid having to have them replaced by a bridge or a dental implant.


What is root canal treatment?

The space inside these layers is called the canal, filled with tissue: the dental pulp. It is a soft tissue that contains the nerves and blood vessels that allow the tooth to grow. Once the tooth has finished growing, it can survive without a pulp. If the pulp is infected, it will need to be removed. The treatment is called root canal or endodontic treatment and involves removing the pulp from the tooth.


When do you need root canal treatment?

The dental pulp can be damaged by an enamel crack, deep decay, or an accident. Bacteria can enter the tooth and thus infect the pulp, which can cause pain or inflammation. However, sometimes the pulp can become infected or die painlessly.

Your dentist may notice changes:

  • in the color of the tooth;
  • in the appearance of the gums;
  • in the bone or at the root of the tooth, thanks to the signs seen on the x-ray;

Sometimes, if the tooth is badly damaged, your dentist may conclude from their examination and x-rays that the pulp of the tooth may not survive.

Either way, root canal treatment can reduce or even prevent symptoms from appearing and thus save the tooth.


The procedure

A member of the dental team will place a rubber dam * around the tooth to protect it, during treatment against the bacteria that live in the saliva.

* The dam is a square of latex that isolates one or more teeth from the rest of the oral cavity in order to work away from saliva and these components.

Your dentist or endodontist can perform local anesthesia if there is a risk of pain.

Your dentist makes a small opening in the tooth to access the canal and damaged pulp.

It removes the pulp, cleans and widens the canal with precision instruments.

Then it fills and seals the canal with a material called gutta-percha, which looks like rubber. A stopper is used which pre-sets the temperature of the instrument, to melt the rubber and make a better seal.

Finally, he seals the opening of the tooth with a temporary or permanent sealant.


Points to consider

Root canal treatment may take one or more visits, depending on the complexity of the root canal anatomy and the extent of the damage to the pulp. Sometimes, if the infection has spread from tooth to bone causing an abscess, the infection needs to be drained before the canal is blocked.

Your tooth may remain sensitive for 1 to 2 weeks after treatment. It is rare for you to experience severe pain or inflammation. If so, you should call your dentist or endodontist as soon as possible.

To look and function as much as possible like a natural tooth, your tooth must then be restored using a filling or crown. The type of restoration will depend on the strength of what is left of the treated tooth. A posterior tooth will likely receive encrustation since a lot of pressure is put on these teeth when you chew. A discolored tooth can be either bleached or covered with a crown or veneer.


Second treatment and root surgery

Although root canal treatment is successful in most cases, sometimes a second treatment is needed. The filling material is removed and the canal again cleaned, prepared and sealed.

A dentist or endodontist may have surgery if conventional root canal treatment cannot be done or has not been successful.

Surgery is used to:

  • check the end of the channel to make sure there are no cracks or fractures.
  • remove parts of the canal that could not be cleaned with conventional treatment.
  • eliminate an infection that has not healed after conventional treatment. All dentists learn to do root canals during their studies. On the other hand, in certain complex cases of surgery or treatment, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist.
  • most of the time, a tooth treated with endodontics can be saved. But sometimes all attempts fail and there is no choice but to extract the tooth.


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