What is root canal therapy?

Endodontic treatment, more commonly known as root canal therapy, is a completely painless dental procedure that becomes necessary to treat infections or fractures of the teeth when they affect the pulp (nerves) of the tooth causing inflammation and infection.

During endodontic treatment, the pulp is completely removed, the pulp chamber and the root canals are cleaned and disinfected and finally sealed with special sealing materials.
If endodontic treatment is not performed on an infected or damaged pulp, then pus collects at the root tip, in the facet bone and an abscess is formed which causes pain.

If the inflammation is not treated, the lack of blood supply to the pulp leads to tissue necrosis and spread of infection through the root canals to the tissues around the tooth root causing an abscess. The infection gradually destroys the bone around the abscess making it impossible to hold the tooth in place leading to its loss. In addition, it can spread to other organs of the body affecting their function. The only alternative is usually extraction which although it seems a cheap option, filling the gap in the future will require a costly bridge or a not at all cheap implant.

It is performed on both single (anterior) and multiple (posterior) teeth.

Initially, opening and access is made through the chewing surface to the pulp cavity and the root canals up to their narrowest apical point. We then chemomechanically treat each tube individually in order to shape it appropriately with hand tools,

power tools and spraying with local antiseptic solutions. In between sessions we use antimicrobial agents to displace and eliminate the infection. At the last stage of treatment, the root canals are blocked with a modern hot gutta-percha system and following a specific protocol.

A slight discomfort of the area may be present in the first few days after completion, which is treated with simple analgesics. An X-ray a few days after treatment is necessary to confirm success. In the final phase, the tooth is reconstructed (sealed) and if it is damaged, it is necessary to place a shaft and a porcelain crown (socket) to protect it from future fracture and extraction.

A proper endodontic treatment has success rates of up to 92%, which depends on several parameters such as the morphology of the root canals, whether there is apical alteration, whether a specific protocol is followed, whether there is a fracture or crack, and whether the final restoration is correct and prevents microbial penetration. If the pain persists after two or three weeks then it is likely that the treatment was not successful. It should be noted that prevention can prevent the need for endodontic treatment.