Root Canal Treatment (Endodontics)

Understanding your Teeth And It’s Pulp Tissue


The Pulp Tissue

Your teeth are in fact calcified objects with a hollow space within. The hollow space is known as the pulp chamber, which comprises of the nerves, arteries, veins, lymph vessels and connective tissue that nourish the tooth.

Root Canals

The nerve of each tooth enters at the tip of its root and runs through the centre of the root in small root canals that merge ultimately with the pulp chamber.  The number of canals varies according to the teeth. Generally, the front teeth have a single root canal while the back teeth often have two, three or more canals.

What Is The Purpose of the Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal treatment is performed when the pulp tissue inside the root canals of the tooth has become infected, in order to prevent the formation of abscess and eventual spreading of the infection to the surrounding tissues.

How Is The Pulp Damaged?

The pulp can be damaged as a result of:

  • Untreated tooth decay – causing bacteria to spread into your tooth and infect the pulp.
  • Severe gum disease – causing gums to pull away from the teeth, thereby creating a gap called a periodontal pocket, which traps bacteria that can infect the pulp.
  • Injury- due to accident that affects and infects the pulp

What Happens If the Tooth Is Left Untreated?

If left untreated it leads to the formation of an abscess, which is the collection of pus as a result of the multiplying bacteria, and it pushes beyond the root tips. As the abscess expands within the bone, the tooth rises slightly out of its socket making it feel tender when you bite down. Without treatment, this infection can further spread to the surrounding tissues and nerves resulting in

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Difficulty in swallowing

How Can Root Canal Treatment Help?


Root canal treatment removes the infected pulp and disinfects the pulp chamber thereby stopping the spread and formation of further infection. This helps to retain the teeth in its natural form.



What are the indications for a root canal treatment?

By Symptoms

Persistent toothache

Presence of tenderness in your gums near a tooth.

Presence of swelling in your gums near a tooth

A tooth that is partially or completely darkened following a trauma

By dental examination

X-Rays - show a dark spot at the tip of the tooth's root, indicating a reduction in the density of the bone surrounding the root's tip as a result of the infection inside the tooth.

Routine evaluation - A persistent or recurring pimple on your gums detected by the dentist

Further dental work for restoring the functionality of the tooth

Often the tooth that has undergone root canal treatment may require restorative dental work to make them sturdier.  Also, restoration work helps to seal the teeth protecting its interior cavity from contamination by bacteria or other debris.  The common restorations recommended by your dentist will vary according to your dental condition, and may comprise of any of the following:

1. A dental post


Posts are placed in teeth that have large portions of their tooth structure missing. To increase the stability of the tooth, dentists will have to increase the amount of tooth that extends up to the centre of the dental crown. This can be accomplished by using a dental post which will serve as the anchor for the filling material used to increase the height of the internal core of the tooth.

2. A dental crown

Used to restore or repair a broken tooth and improve its appearance. Crowns are made of porcelain or metal and serve as excellent seals for tooth by preventing the contamination by bacteria or other debris in the mouth.

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