Hussein Hassanali offers his valuable advice on root canal treatment.
As a student, a cold shiver would run down my spine doing root fillings. Then I entered foundation training, and the same fears were still there. But after much practice, it’s turned out to be my favourite treatment. Now, the satisfaction of seeing a good result on a post-op radiograph always brings a smile to my face. Here are my top tips that have worked for me.
Top ten tips for endodontics
- Take your time. Quality root fillings can’t be rushed. With repetition, speed will follow while maintaining the quality
- Magnification makes things clearer and improves your quality further
- Always work with a rubber dam to give you a dry working field and prevent your canals from getting contaminated
- Clear access cavity with straight line access. Don’t put your files under more strain than they can handle
- Don’t gun straight for the apex, prep the coronal third of the canal first
- Irrigate, irrigate, irrigate – get those bugs washed out
- Get a good glide path before you start shaping the canal
- Modern apex locators save time and reduce extra radiation exposure. Find one you feel confident in and can trust
- Find a rotary system that works for you and master it. They clean and shape canals better and faster than hand instruments
- Use an ultrasonic scaler with the water turned off to trim your gutta percha (GP) points and pack it into your canal. The heat generated by the tip will melt the GP to give you a good seal.
The next step
And after all that hard work, always have a cuspal coverage restoration for premolars and molars. I’ve seen plenty of root filled teeth fracture, give the tooth a good long-term restoration and coronal seal to enhance its prognosis. Do your root filling justice and give it the restoration it deserves.