Endodontology and Root Canal Treatment
“Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.” Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth.
Endodontics is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on treating disease or injury to the dental pulp, this is also known as root canal treatment.
Inside every tooth and molar under the white enamel is a hard layer called dentin. Inside this is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp is living tissue and is made up of blood vessels and nerves. The pulp can become infected due to some of the following:
- A hole or chip in the tooth
- A leaking filling
- Serious tooth decay
- Dental procedures
- An injury caused by a hard fall
These can cause problems for a tooth or a molar, but also the jawbone. The making of a diagnosis, the prevention, and treatment of these problems is known as endodontology. If the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, this can lead to considerable pain or even an abscess. The root canals and the root end openings are connected with the jawbone. Due to this an infection of the dental pulp can spread further to this area. If the dental pulp is infected then you need to undergo root canal treatment.
Root Canal Treatment at Lassus Tandartsen
Root canal treatment is an extremely complex procedure. At Lassuss Tandartsen we have considerable experience in carrying out root canal treatments. For the more specialist procedures, you’ll be referred internally to our Dental Endodontist Sander Menso. Sander Menso (NVVE qualified) works at our Keizersgracht and Stadionplein locations. After studying and qualifying as a Dentist, he completed an additional three years of study beyond dental school and is officially certified as Dentist-Endodontist.
The symptoms that your dental pulp is infected are often very clear:
- Severe pain by the drinking of hot or cold drinks
- Spontaneous pain which keeps you awake at night
- Pain when chewing food
It’s good to be aware that not every dental pulp infection causes pain. Sometimes there are no symptoms and an infection is only discovered when an x-ray is made of your teeth or after clinical testing.
Root canal treatment
The process of root canal treatment is carried out as follows:
- The dentist makes an x-ray of the root canals to determine the location of the infection.
- Local anesthetic is administered and the dentist/endodontist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth.
- The dentist removes the infected or dead tissue.
- Very small instruments are used to clean the inside of the tooth or molar along with a disinfecting liquid.
- The space that was created in the tooth or molar in the root canals are filled with a biocompatible rubber like material and is completed with a normal filling. If the tooth is seriously weakened a crown can be used in place of a regular filling.
The treatment is virtually painless due to the use of local anesthetic. It’s possible that after the treatment that you’ll experience some pain. If that’s the case we recommend the use of paracetamol or ibuprofen.
In some exceptional cases, it can be possible that after root canal treatment that the infection is not completely cured or that you experience a repeat of the complaints. In most cases with additional root canal treatment, you can keep your tooth or molar. In the new treatment, all root canals will be cleaned and filled again. During the treatment, the dentist will make an x-ray in order to manage the course of the treatment.
Frequently asked questions
Is root canal treatment pain-free?
Due to the use of local anesthetic the treatment is virtually painless. It’s possible that after the treatment that you’ll experience some pain. If that’s the case we recommend the use of paracetamol or ibuprofen. If the pain continues for a longer period, please contact your dentist.
How long does a root canal treatment take?
The duration of a root canal treatment depends on the number of root canals. Not every tooth has the same number of canals. A normal tooth often has 1 canal, molars often have multiple canals. The treatment can vary from half an hour to two hours.
How does the tooth look after root canal treatment?
In the past, teeth that had undergone root canal treatment would look a little darker than the rest. Due to modern day techniques, this rarely occurs nowadays. If a small discoloring occurs, this can be easily resolved. There are a number of possibilities available to restore your teeth to a natural color.
If I don’t have root canal treatment what happens then?
If the dental pulp is infected and not treated then it will not be cured. The only alternative to root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth or molar that’s infected. In some cases that’s the best solution. It’s always better to keep your natural teeth, therefore we advise to always have root canal treatment if it’s required.
Make an appointment
Would you like to make an appointment for root canal treatment? Then please contact us on 020 471 3137 or by using the contact form below.