What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is also referred to as ‘endodontics’ and is the procedure that treats complications and infections in a tooth’s root canal system.

Infection can happen when bacteria in the mouth invades a tooth after leaking fillings, tooth decay and damage to teeth as a result of an accident or trauma. Root canal treatment refers specifically to infected pulp.


What does the procedure involve?


  • Your dentist will create an opening through of the tooth.
  • Your dentist will use files to clean the infection and remove the pulp and any abbesses from the canals – this is also known as a pulpectomy.
  • Your dentist will clean the root and shape it so it is ready for filling and a temporary filling will be placed in order for the tooth to settle.
  • Your temporary filling will be removed and your dentist will fill your tooth’s pulp chamber and root canal. Using a material called gutta-percha, your tooth canals will be filled and then sealed with a special type of cement. If necessary, a plastic or metal stick is positioned for additional support.
  • Your tooth will be permanently fitted with a crown once the infection is clear.


What happens after treatment?

Your dentist will recommend over-the-counter medication or may prescribe you with narcotic painkillers to keep any post-treatment pain at bay. After a root canal, you should treat your new tooth as you would treat your other teeth – by maintaining a health oral hygiene and dental routine. This means brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, which will also minimise the likelihood of tooth decay occurring in your other teeth. Your restored tooth can last your lifetime if you take proper care and make regular appointments with us. 

A little note about endodontics


  • Endodontists are dentists with additional training (2 or more years), making them specialists of their profession. Their expertise is in salvaging teeth and diagnosing and treating disorders and diseases regarding dental pulp.
  • Here at Cliftonville our endodontists use state-of-the-art technology such as digital imaging to identify any problems regarding tooth decay.
  • Ultrasonic apparatuses are used to clean out any old canal fillings as well as special microscopes, which facilities the process for your dentist, allowing them to perform a thorough treatment.




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