Root Canal Treatment

To save an infected tooth from extraction

Root Canal Treatments

Contrary to popular belief a root canal treatment is not painful. We will give you a good local anaesthetic and ensure it has had enough time to work before actually starting the treatment.

Root Canal treatment will be necessary if the 'pulp' inside a tooth becomes infected. Pulp fills the centre of the tooth and the root canals, which hold the tooth firmly in the Jawbone. In a mature tooth however infected pulp can be removed safely.

Infected pulp can affect the bone around the tooth, causing an abscess to form. We undertake Root Canal Treatment in order to save the tooth from extraction. We do this by:

  • Removing the infected pulp
  • Treating any other infection
  • Filling and sealing the empty canals

If root canal treatment is not carried out, the tooth may have to be extracted. So long as the tooth is properly restored following a root canal treatment however there is no reason why it should not last for the rest of your life. An infection of the dental pulp may not cause any pain at first. If it is not treated however pain and swelling will follow. Some indications that a tooth may need a root canal are:

  • Pain when you bite, touch it or push the tooth
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Sensitivity to cold that lasts longer than a couple of seconds
  • Swelling near the affected tooth
  • A discoloured tooth, with or without pain
  • A broken tooth

How long does it Take?

We may be able to complete your Root canal treatment in a single session, but in some circumstances we will need to schedule further treatments.

An infected tooth may need several appointments to make sure that the infection is eliminated.

  • Some teeth may be more difficult to treat because of the position of the tooth.
  • Some teeth have many and curved root canals that are difficult to locate.

In most cases, the tooth will need a crown. This is particularly true for chewing teeth. A crown will help to restore the tooth's strength and protect it from cracking. Crowns are custom made for each patient and our laboratory will need a few days to do this during which time we will dress the tooth with a temporary.

The entire process will generally take around a week to complete and you will normally be able to return home without needing further treatment.

Re-Treatments of Canals

We are often asked to treat a tooth that has already had a root canal treatment carried out elsewhere. This may be necessary for any of several reasons.

  • It may be that during treatment, the area was insufficiently sterilised and the oxygen in the air has triggered bacterial growth causing inflammation and pain.
  • The side of the tooth was punctured during treatment. This can happen if the canal is curved or difficult to located. The instruments are flexible and bend to follow the curve of the canal, but sometimes the instrument makes a small hole in the side of the tooth.
  • A canal was missed or was not be fully cleaned out. Locating canals within the tooth can be difficult. If a canal or an offshoot isn't located and cleaned out, the tooth can remain infected and the procedure will have to be repeated.
  • A file may break. The tip of a file may break off inside the tooth. Usually, it's possible to leave the piece in the tooth and finish the procedure. But if the cleaning was not been finished, the file piece may have to be removed. 

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