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If the pulp (soft tissue including nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels) inside one of your teeth becomes diseased or injured, endodontic treatment may be needed to save the tooth from extraction.  This may follow trauma, or a history of a large cavity which has damaged the pulp.  When the blood supply inside the tooth is then lost, bacteria have a space in which to breed.


The most common procedure in endodontics is Root Canal Therapy which aims to clean then seal the canal to prevent bacterial growth. In some cases an RCT can be completed in a single appointment, but mostly ideal disinfection of the root canal system requires two or three appointments.


Root Canal Therapy is typically performed when the tooth undergoes irreversible infection and inflammation or the subsequent development of an abscess on the root of your tooth. 

The aim is to:


  1. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.

  2. The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, filed and shaped.

  3. A medication is placed to disinfect the canals (usually covered by a temporary restoration between appointments).                                      

  4. The root canals are filled with gutta percha - a flexible material in lengths that match the file shape to seal out bacteria.


Once it has been determined that the Root Canal Therapy has been successful, a permanent restoration is critical to the success of the procedure.  Very often a porcelain crown will be placed to seal the tooth and restore long term function.


Mark has a very keen interest in root canal treatment.  He is a member of the Australian Society of Endodontics and attends many of the society’s meetings.  He maintains a good understanding of the current best practice in endodontics where new techniques are rated against established modalities with substantial long term research.  He uses a high magnification operating microscope to identify complex root canal anatomies, electronic interpreters of canal length, technically efficient file systems to safely prepare the canals, and advanced techniques in obturating (sealing) the canals.


The study of endodontics is very central to the health of your teeth.  Through a good knowledge of endodontics, our dentists have an excellent understanding of which filling materials or treatment options will affect the pulp, and may thus avert the death of the tooth. And after root canal therapy is completed, the final restorations are carefully considered to protect the tooth and the treated root canal system.