Everything You Need To Know About Your Root Canal Treatment

Dr. Wassef Seirafi, Endodontist at Marble Medical Center

Root canals are smile-saving treatments. Like any dental procedure, a root canal is designed to restore your strong and healthy teeth. A root canal is practically one last stop before a tooth extraction: the last resort when infected or decayed teeth are past other less invasive treatments. Instead, a root canal saves these infected teeth from total decay and extraction, allowing you to keep them and your healthy smile.

Why It’s Called a Root Canal and What It Does

A root canal treatment is recommended for badly decayed or infected teeth, wherein the nerves and pulps have become irritated and inflamed. These occur due to severe tooth decay, repeated dental procedures, large fillings, and cracks or chips in the tooth after trauma to the face. A root canal is required to prevent decay or infection from causing an abscess — a pus-filled pocket — to develop. When this happens, the damage has spread past the ends of the roots of a tooth and can cause serious harm.

How a Root Canal is Done

This treatment involves cleaning the infected pulp, then removing the damaged nerve tissue to prevent bacteria from multiplying within the chamber. Once complete, the area is sealed to avoid further infection and prevent an abscess from forming. It also preserves the remaining healthy tissue surrounding the affected tooth. 

While root canals involve removing the infected nerve, this doesn’t reduce quality of life. The nerves in teeth do not directly impact their health and function; these are only sensory (i.e. detect hot or cold food and drink).

High-tech tools are now used in root canal treatments that make the procedure easier for both patients and dentists. By the virtue of the technological advancement in modern root canal treatment, teeth can now be treated without any invasive surgery. With the latest instruments and state-of-the-art technologies, dentists now have the resources to complete successful root canals in just one painless visit of the patients.

Today, we can locate calcified canals better than before,  and we are not just trying to improve our quality of service, but also striving to perform faster. This is particularly important when dealing with endodontic emergencies and anxious patients.

Let’s take a look at some treatments and innovative technologies that are completely changing the way dentists perform the root canal treatment.


Come Beam Computed Tomography has emphatically transformed the practice of Endodontists. CBCT imaging allows Endodontists to have a clear and proper diagnosis of the patient. This imaging provides a three-dimensional picture of the endodontic region. With clear visualization of the anatomy, shape and canal location, the Endodontists can develop a more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Nickel-Titanium Files

Nickel titanium has properties that surpass the conventional stainless steel files. It is a flexible and shape-memory alloy. Rotary nickel titanium files have powered the endodontists to perform in a more efficient and precise manner. Rotary nickel titanium files in comparison to stainless steel hand files make a root canal’s success more consistent. The shape-memory feature helps the files to shape the canal passages better and enter them with more ease.  These nickel titanium files have great resistance to cyclic fatigue with various tapers and cross-sectional designs unlike the stainless steel hand files.

Apex Locater

The aim of technologies in medical science has been to make them simpler and predictable. An Apex Locator is an Endodontic solution that uses fully automatic, multi-frequencies measurements to provide unsurpassed accuracy and reliability. It is a root canal measuring instrument which simplifies complex readings accurately.


Files have a significant impact on the infected pulp tissue within a canal. However, the canal anatomy is complex and files may erroneously miss a few microbial sediments. Therefore, the use of biochemical measures is also important along with mechanical instrumentation that includes filing. The combination of these methods is imperative for an effective root canal treatment. Sodium Hypochlorite is the irrigation choice when it comes to root canal treatment. It is the most likely choice because it has anti-microbial properties and dissolves vital and necrotic pulp tissue. You have to use it with a combination of ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) since it does not have the properties that dissolve inorganic components of the smear-layer.


Endodontists have to operate on microscopic cells and tissues in the dental pulp. It is like a junction of nerve endings, tissues, and canals. Microscopes allow practitioners to magnify the core of the tooth in order to get a clearer and more enhanced vision of minute details. This helps them study and identify the damaged traces on the root canals, locate infected areas and better understand the endodontic structure. Advanced microscopes have empowered endodontists to be more confident with their diagnosis and treatments.

Root canal treatments are renowned for their extremely high success rates. At 95% success, many teeth restored with a root canal last a lifetime. Most patients resume their routine once the numbness wears off. In the next few days, it’s normal to experience some sensitivity due to tissue inflammation, which can be eased with painkillers

Once a permanent filling is placed, you can chew confidently, knowing that the once-fragile tooth has now been restored to full function. Just remember — a root canal treatment becomes necessary due to severe tooth decay or infection. There’s no substitute for oral hygiene basics: brush and floss regularly, and visit your dentist for check-ups and cleanings to prevent these problems from recurring.

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