Endodontics is another word to describe a Root Filling or Root Canal Treatment.
What causes a root filling?
When a tooth has so much decay and the bacteria causing the decay has now extended to the core of the tooth where the pulp of the tooth is. A cracked tooth may also represent needing a root filling.
How will I know if I need a root filling?
You will experience discomfort from the tooth such as pain on eating and drinking, sometimes a dull ache which is a spontaneous pain. The dentists will do various tests to assess vitality of the tooth and a radiograph will be required to confirm the diagnosis.
What does root filling treatment involve?
The root filling treatment will involve removal of the infected pulp from the canals of the tooth. This treatment will protect the tooth and prevent future infection by bacteria. Once the bacteria is cleaned out of the pulp chamber of the tooth, the canals are shaped and filled using a gutta percha material. The dentist will take a series of radiographs to ensure the filling is placed at the correct length, thus ensuring maximum obturation. After a root filling is done, we normally recommend placement of a crown to protect the now brittle tooth structure from future fracture and re-infection.
What are alternatives to a root filling?
When is an Endodontist required?
Once in a while, a tooth can have a complex root canal anatomy, thus making it more difficult for a general dentist to perform a high standard root filling. This is mainly the cases in failed root fillings which need to be redone, or molars with more than 3 canals, or very curved roots. In these instances, the patient will be referred to an Endodontist who will perform the root filling under a microscope.