Root canal treatment

What you need to know

The tooth consists of two parts, the dentin is the inner part and the enamel (hard part) is the outer part.
In the centre of the tooth are the blood vessels and the nerve. They are located in a very small canal which is the living part of the tooth.
Root canal treatment, also called endodontic treatment, is necessary when the pulp of the tooth is infected due to severe decay, enamel cracks or trauma. If the inflamed or infected pulp is not treated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
This treatment therefore consists of removing the infected pulp from the channels where it is housed, disinfecting the entire canal system of the tooth, widening the main canal and sealing the canal system (filling and sealing it). The tooth is then reconstituted either with a coronary filling or a crown.
Reasons for root canal treatment are:
• Presence of bacteria and pus in the canal that cause an abscess
• Nerve of the tooth that died
• Nerve of the tooth that is sick enough to cause extreme pain and does not show signs of healing (pulpitis)
• The use of the canal as an anchor for the installation of a pivot and a crown.
• In all these situations, the solution is to perform a root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment consists of emptying, cleaning, sterilizing and sealing the root canal(s) of the tooth. In this way, the patient's dead tooth can be preserved.


Duration of hospital stay
2 to 4 hours.

Average length of stay
2 to 3 days.
Some patients need two appointments."

Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment

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Before the treatment

The dentist must perform some tests to confirm that the nerve is dead or sick.
First, an X-ray of the root of the tooth must be taken.
The dentist performs a percussion test by hitting the tooth lightly with the dentist's small mirror. In case of an abscess, the tooth is much more painful than the others.
The dentist also performs a cold test. It consists of applying a glossy cotton swab to the teeth involved. Normally the teeth should feel cold. If a tooth feels extreme cold or no cold, it is sick or dead. An electrical test (vitalometer) can also be done to determine the condition of the nerve.

What does it involve?

The dentist will anaesthetize the tooth, although it is possible to do so without anaesthesia when the tooth is completely dead.
An operating field is installed on the tooth to isolate it for the work to be done. The aim is to avoid contamination by saliva and not to overflow disinfectants into the mouth.
The dentist places the top of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber (the center of the tooth) where the nerve is located.
The dentist cleans the tiny canal(s) with manual or mechanical instruments (files).
The dentist then applies different products to disinfect the inside of the canals.
At a second stage or during the same session, the dentist fills the canal(s) to avoid recontamination of the inside of the tooth.
The filling is made of cement and rubber called: gutta-percha.
The final step is the restoration of the tooth (filling, crown, porcelain, etc…)
Cleaning the roots of a tooth can take time,** the procedure can take 2 to 4 hours.**

Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment

After the treatment

After the procedure, it is not advisable to eat solid food and smoke.
It is important to have excellent dental hygiene.
The sensitivity of the tooth is normal within days of root canal treatment. It is also normal to have differences in sensation between the treated tooth and the other teeth for a few weeks.

About Root canal treatment

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