Endodontics (Root Canal Treatment)

The pain that starts on the teeth with deep decay or filling may be temporary at first. However, as time goes by, it becomes constant and throbbing and may even affect all teeth in the compromised area with severe pain. Sometimes, a chronic abcess formation may even be observed in the radiographical examination without any kind of pain complaints.

Dental pulp is a soft tissue localized within the tooth structure. It includes nerves, blood and lymph tissue. It is located within the tubelike canals inside tooth root and the pulp chamber inside the dental crown.

This picture shows how the decay will progress if left untreated, and the damage it will cause to the hard tissue and dental pulp. If decay is treated in initial stages, the condition will be able to be resolved with a small filling. When left untreated, root canal treatment will be necessary.

Decay begins as a white colored spot lesion (A), progresses into enamel (B) and then the dentin (C), affects the dental pulp (D) and moves into the pulp (E), ultimately resulting in abcess formation on the jawbone. When the dental pulp is sick or injured, if it can't regenerate, it becomes infected. An untreated dental pulp dies and puss accumulates on the root apex. Abcess can form on the root apex which means the destruction of bone tissue. By removing the infected dental pulp, the damage caused by the infection is allowed to heal with the immune system. Endodontic treatments are performed with the principle of minimizing the number of treatment sessions.

Endodontic treatment is performed as follows;

  • Local anesthesia is applied, thus making the procedure painless.
  • Dental pulp is removed, root canals are cleaned and expanded, thus creating a proper form for the canal filling that follows.
  • If the treatment sessions are decided to be more than one session, the pulp cavity is temporarily filled between sessions. A discomfort may be experienced on the treatment area for a few days. Sometimes the pain may be felt more than usual and dressing application may become necessary before the day of the appointment.
  • During the last session, temporary filling is removed and root canals are filled. The filling needs to be complete and firm.
  • Teeth restoration needs to be performed following the treatment. Restoration options are decided as filling or crowns according to the amount of tissue loss. Sometimes, posts are needed to be placed for structural support.

Can The Tooth Decay After Root Canal Treatment?

Tooth decay is associated with bacterial plaque accumulation. When an individual fails to follow the rules of dental care (brushing and flossing), plaque accumulation begins on the tooth and surrounding tissue, therefore causing bacterial acid formation and decay. However, the tooth after root canal treatment is not alive. For this reason, it doesn't show the symptoms presented by decay formation. Usually, it is spotted in a radiological exam.

Does the root canal tooth break more easily?

Teeth with root canal treatments are usually teeth which have high amounts of substance loss. Due to this, they are more fragile. The most ideal restoration after root canal treatment in order to preserve the remaining tissue is to put a dental crown on top of the tooth with root canal.

Will The Tooth Keep Its Function After Root Canal Treatment?

Dental pulp (the tissue that keeps the tooth alive) is removed during root canal treatment. The tooth is no longer alive. However, the surrounding tissue (bone, gingiva) are still alive and help the tooth maintain its function.