What is endodontic treatment?

To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.

The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.

 

Why would I need an endodontic procedure?

Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks.

 

 

Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?

Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anaesthetics, most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.

For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed.

 

Can all teeth be treated endodontically?

Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth can’t be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn’t have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored.

 

Rotary Endodontics

In our practice, we use a new type of file to perform rotary endodontics. They are made with MaxWire alloy, like the which offers increased flexibility and fatigue resistance compared to conventional nickel titanium files. They also adapt to the shape of the root canal, reducing the risk of file fracture.

Hand instrumentation

In our clinic, most endodontic procedures are performed using rotary instruments, however there are times where the need for manual hand instrumentation is indicated. This includes very narrow canals, very wide canals, and simple root canal treatments such as incisor teeth. 

Bioceramic Filler

Once shaping is completed, we fill the root canals using the latest in materials - a bioceramic filler. This is now considered the leading method of filling the canal, combined with a conventional gutta percha point.

Rubber Dam

To provide root canal treatment safely, we use a rubber dam to isolate the tooth from the rest of your mouth. 

There are some cases where it would be better for you to have your endodontic treatment provided by a specialist, in in some cases this will be funded by the NHS. Below are some of the accepted criteria for referral:

  • Patients aged 18 years or under who have suffered trauma to a tooth which is strategically important to maintain long-term oral function.

  • Where there are medical conditions which affect the oral environment, for e.g. Sjogren’s syndrome, and where tooth is strategically important to maintain long-term oral function.

  • Very curved canals and complex anatomy

  • Calcified canals, resorption or pulpal stone

 

 

In order to be eligible for NHS funding, the following are required:

  • Good oral health

  • otherwise healthy dentition

  • Good attendance record

  • An x-ray needs to be taken of all teeth requested for treatment

  • The tooth must be able to be adequately restored after treatment and be functional.

 

If you do not meet the criteria above, you can still elect to have your root treatment done privately with a specialist endodontist. The closest specialist endodontist is in Southsea, there is currently no specialist on the Island.

 

Following treatment, you will be discharged back to your dentist for completion of the restoration, such as a filling or crown.

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