Endotic therapy, which is commonly known as Root Canal Treatment, is a specialised branch of dentistry which deals with the pulp of a tooth when it has become infected. Pulp is a catch-all term which covers the soft tissue to be found within the hollow inside a tooth. This soft tissue is made up of factors such as blood vessels and nerve tissue, and if it becomes infected it can be extremely painful and can ultimately threaten the integrity and survival of the tooth. Endotic therapy consists of removing any infected pulp, cleaning and reshaping the hollow space left behind and then filling the hollow before sealing the tooth with a crown. Treatment of this kind is the best option if you wish to have a tooth treated in a manner which means it can be saved, rather than having to have it removed and replaced with the likes of an implant or crown. Endotic Treatment Procedure If a tooth has been cracked and damaged or is being attacked with decay, then your dentist may feel that there is a high risk of infection setting into the pulp in the future. In many cases, infection may already be apparent inside or underneath the tooth, and your dentist will recommend endotic therapy as a means of removing the infection but saving the tooth – the alternative being a simple extraction. The first stage of the treatment will consist of the dentist drilling a hole into the tooth and down into the hollow chamber within. The infected pulp will then be removed and the nerve removed from the root canals using hand held instruments known as H files and K files. The files used gradually increase in size in order to widen the canal and facilitate the thorough removal of any infected material. Once the chamber within the tooth and the root canals have been cleaned out, the dentist will rinse the space left behind thoroughly with a disinfecting liquid known as an irrigant. Once this has been done, the dentist will fill the tooth and root canal, thus ‘rebuilding’ the interior of the tooth and preventing any further infection. The filling usually takes the form of gutta-percha, which is a natural form of latex gathered from the percha tree. Once the interior of the tooth has been filled in this manner, a crown will be placed on top of the tooth, thus sealing it in a permanent manner. Although root canal treatment has something of a reputation for being painful, the truth is that modern anaesthetic techniques mean that most patients feel nothing worse than mild discomfort. Innovations in the Field As with other fields of dentistry, the area of root canal treatment is one which is constantly being pushed forward by the latest in technology, technique and method, and the very best dentists, such as those who work at Perfect Smile clinics, will make it their business to remain at the cutting edge of such developments. Recent advances include the use of automated equipment which speeds up the process of drilling into and cleaning out the interior of the tooth, and cone beam CT scanning which allows dentists to build up highly detailed and exact images of the area to be treated before actually embarking upon the treatment. Another innovation is the use of magnifying equipment, such as dental loupes or surgical microscopes whilst carrying out the treatment, and taken together these innovations can lead to the treatment now only taking between one hour and two. Although general dentists can perform root canal work, the most innovative techniques are likely to be adopted by those who specialise in root canals, known as endodontists. Recovery from the Treatment Although some cases of root canal treatment can be performed in a single visit, there is a chance that you will have to visit the surgery for several separate appointments. If this is the case, you will have to be careful to avoid biting into or chewing upon hard foods such as nuts until the treatment has been completed. Once treatment is over, your tooth may feel slightly uncomfortable, although only to a degree which can be treated using over the counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen. Following the treatment, the tooth should be cleaned and looked after like the rest of your teeth, and regular visits to the dentist for check-ups will help to ensure that it stays healthy. If you’re suffering from dental pain caused by an infection to the pulp of your tooth then contact a Perfect Smile dental clinic and book an appointment at the earliest opportunity. Not only will root canal treatment be able to relieve the pain, but it will also save the tooth and maintain the appearance of your smile.