What is endodontic treatment?
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry concerned with treating
the inside of a tooth. (endo= inside, odont = tooth). It is
more commonly referred to as root canal treatment.
Endodontic treatment removes infected or damaged tissue from
inside the tooth. This tissue, called the pulp, contains nerves
and blood vessels that nourish the tooth. After the pulp is
removed, the root canals are cleaned, disinfected, filled
and sealed.What may have caused the damage or infection in
The most common cause of pulp damage is severe decay or a
fracture in the tooth which exposes the pulp to bacteria.
This causes the pulp tissue to become infected. Other causes
of damage include trauma, a blow to a tooth, a cracked or
loose filling or a previous deep filling.
How many appointments will I need?
That depends on which tooth is to be treated, the access to
the tooth, the degree of infection and whether any previous
endodontic treatment has been performed. At the consultation
appointment we can determine how many appointments will be
required. It usually takes one or two appointments and very
occasionally may take three.
How long will my tooth last after endodontic treatment?
With an appropriate restoration (e.g. usually a crown in back
teeth) placed on top of the tooth after your root canal treatment
the tooth may last a lifetime. This requires good oral and
dental care, good oral hygiene and periodic dental check-ups.
Does endodontic treatment hurt?
With the use of modern techniques, root canal treatment typically
involves little or no discomfort. Often there is pain before
treatment and endodontic treatment provides relief.
Some patients can experience some discomfort and tenderness
just after treatment but this is usually alleviated with over-the-counter
What are the alternatives to endodontic treatment?
The alternative to root canal treatment is extraction of the
tooth. This option and any subsequent treatment plan can be
discussed with your own dentist or at the endodontic consultation.
Can all teeth be treated endodontically?
Occasionally a tooth cannot be saved with endodontic treatment
as treatment will only be successful if all the canals within
the tooth are accessible and can be adequately cleaned.
A tooth must have adequate bone support if treatment is to
We will only carry out treatment if the long-term for the
tooth outlook is good and only if the tooth can be adequately
restored after endodontic treatment. This will be discussed
at your endodontic consultation appointment.
Can the treatment fail?
Endodontic treatment can have a success rate of up to 90%
if carried out to a high standard. Problems can occur if the
tooth develops decay, if the restoration on top of the tooth
fails or sometimes despite good endodontic treatment, the
tooth may not heal as expected. In such cases further endodontic
treatment or surgery may be carried out if appropriate.
Want to know more?
At the consultation appointment we will be happy to talk further
with you, answer other questions, discuss your own specific
case and talk you through your endodontic treatment plan.
Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any queries or anxieties
Of course all treatment plans are specific to patients needs
but the following Price
Guide give and indication of our fees.