Back To Blog

What Is Root Canal Treatment?

08 August 2019
what is root canal treatment?

You've likely heard the term 'root canal treatment' before but perhaps you're unsure what it actually means. In this post, we're going to discover what a root canal treatment is and would you would need one.

When somebody talks about a root canal treatment, they are usually referring to a dental procedure that is more accurately known as "endodontic treatment".

Endodontics being the field of dentistry focusing on the living part of the tooth.

The Root Canals Of Your Tooth

the root canals of your tooth

Every tooth has roots anchoring it to the jaw bone. Inside the hard shell of the tooth and its roots are canals containing nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue, all of which being usually referred to as the dental pulp.

These root canals and the pulp it contains are a very important part of your tooth, because it is for example what allows nutrients to enter the tooth and keep it healthy.

Also the pulp has, among others, a major sensory function transmitting information to the brain such as temperature or pressure to prevent you from chewing to hard on too hot or too cold food.

Pulp and Dentin

root canal treatment process

As blood flows into the tooth to nourish it, the pulp extracts nutrients  from it and uses them to produce dentin.

Dentin is basically the same as ivory, and it is the slightly softer material that exists just below the enamel surface of the tooth and covers the pulp. Nerve endings coming from the pulp are running through the dentin in microscopic tunnels linking the enamel to the pulp.

It acts as a shock absorber, so it doesn't do too much damage that when your teeth clash together with moderate force.

When a tooth suffers from decay or because of a trauma, the dentin can be exposed in the mouth and bacteria can use these small tunnels to get into the pulp, infecting it and causing pain.

The best way to relieve this and stop the process before it leads to an abscess is to remove the infected portion of the pulp.

This is exactly what an endodontic treatment is. Although it sounds a bit scary, it actually provides great relief to patients and takes away the pain that results from infected pulp tissue.

Keeping your teeth free from infection is important not only to avoid pain and swelling, but also because the infection can have an impact on your overall state of health.

Modern endodontics focus on removing as little pulp as possible, when possible, as the best root canal treatment is your natural pulp. Unfortunately, very often when detected the infection has already reached the root canals and it's not possible to keep the pulp anymore. This is when you need a root canal treatment.

Root Canal Procedure

root canal treatment

The procedure firstly involves the application of anaesthetic to reduce the pain sensation.

The tooth is then isolated from the rest of the mouth with some surgical cloth exactly like any other operation. Using a special microscope, the caries are removed and an access is created into the root canal.

Then using microscopic thin brush-like instruments, the dentist removes the pulp from the root canals and disinfect them thoroughly. It is a highly technical stage that requires time and skills to respect the individual root canal anatomy of your tooth. 

Once everything is clean inside the tooth, the root canals are sealed off to prevent bacteria from getting back inside and sustaining the infection.

The access opening is then filled and the damaged part of the tooth is built back up to restore its full integrity and function. When the damage is very extensive, your endodontist will recommend the restoration of the tooth with a prosthetic crown that is going to act as a shield to prevent a fracture in the future.

root canal treatment implements

When needed, it is usually the only way to save your tooth, eliminate the pain and all symptoms, and ensure your overall health doesn't suffer as a result of the infection.   

Once a tooth has been treated with a root canal procedure, it is unable to create new dentin or enamel, so your dentist will not recommend a root canal procedure unless it is absolutely necessary.

Usually it is the only way to save your tooth, eliminate the pain of the condition, and ensure your overall health doesn't suffer as a result of the infection.   

Recent Reviews

Rory O'Neill

“If like me you are terrified of going to the dentist, then 3Dental is the only show in town now. I needed implants and crowns and the value that I got from Dr. O'Connell was far more competitive than...”

Diane Murphy Donegan

“My 9 year old son recently had 2 tooth extractions on separate occasions with Paul. After how smooth the first one went I had absolutely no issues getting him to go in for the second. 3Dental is a...”

CK Donavan

“I had an emergency appointment in 3Dental Dublin a few weeks ago. I waited in my car and got a phone call when the dentist was ready, therefore I avoided the waiting area. All safety procedures were...”

Jo Moran

“I would highly recommend 3Dental to everyone! I had to go for an emergency extraction and so I was really nervous and anxious going in and they took amazing care of me!! the staff are brilliant! Very...”

Amy Cahill

“Well I couldn’t recommend 3Dental enough. I met Alison today for the first time and all I can say was she was my angel. Had a tooth extracted and was in awful pain and she made sure I wouldn’t feel a...”

Angela Conway

“Second to none care from 3Dental. Had an emergency and 3Dental looked after me exceptionally. Well, thank you very much 3Dental - one less thing to worry about at this very extraordinary time 🥰”

Antonia Condon

“Great response to a difficult situation!”

Dave Johnson

“It's great that you guys are available incase of an emergency like a toothache etc, you're doing a great service, keep well.”

Karen Mayne

“Thank you so much to Niall and all the staff for helping to get an emergency treatment done recently. It's a difficult time for everyone but your efforts were appreciated. Best of luck and hopefully...”

Christine Lynch

“Thank you all so much for your kindness and help looking after my elderly mother today. In the midst of all the chaos you were nothing but helpful reassuring and most of all kind. We will most...”

Lisa Collins

“Amazing service, took me straight away as an emergency in and out in 20 mins. Paul was brilliant. Reception staff were lovely and reassuring.”

Catherine Dowling

“I had to go to the surgery yesterday, at a time when everyone is nervous with the risks of COVID-19, I couldn’t commend Paul and the team enough for the measures they have in place to protect...”

Susan Quinn Cassidy

“Would highly recommend 3Dental particularly for nervous patients like me.. I went for an assessment a month ago & was provided with a reasonable quote. They fit me in this week for an emergency...”

Tony Moore

“Went for the free initial consultation and was advised to get two crowns which I got over two subsequent visits. Prices seem to be on a par with others I checked and the friendly service and...”

Christina Power

“Paul has been the most incredible dentist I've ever had, he's so meticulous and precise, it gives me full confidence he's the best person to get my crooked teeth, straight! (Nearly there) All the...”

Zara Jade

“Excellent service, very professional. Good value for money. Staff were very friendly and knowledgable. I would highly recommend this dental practice.”

Pat Cassidy

“Very efficient and painless experience with my implant! Magda, Mel, Christiane and Joaquin were all so kind, so helpful and very professional!”

Judith Ryan

“I’m a very nervous patient when it comes to my teeth. They’re extremely sensitive. Rosario in 3Dental Limerick was fantastic. She did an amazing job and had such a kind and understanding attitude. I...”

Yahya Albalawi

“My son got his tooth extracted in another practice (Smiles Dental Limerick). 3 days later he got an infection and he was in a real pain. He could not eat and he could not sleep well. Smiles Dental...”

Evie Doyle

“I had braces fitted by Paul at 3Dental and I am really happy with the result. It was hassle free and a brilliant experience. The staff were always very helpful and friendly throughout my time with...”

Ready for the Next Step? Book Your Free Consultation

Book A Consultation View Pricing Options