Root Canal Treatment (Endodontics)

Root Canal treatment is a procedure that removes the nerve of the tooth and is often the alternative to tooth loss.

Root Canal treatment will be required if the nerve of a tooth has become infected or irreversibly inflamed. Infections and inflammation can occur due to the following events:

  • Dental decay
  • Dental trauma
  • A broken filling or crown resulting in bacterial leakage
  • Extreme wear from grinding traumatically affecting the nerve
  • Extensive dental treatment in the past
  • Severe gum disease
  • Cracks within the tooth

An infected or inflamed tooth can be very painful, may be reactive to heat or cold and may cause swelling which can either be localised or, in more severe cases, extendinto the surrounding soft tissue. An infected tooth may also cause a level of discomfort that wakes a patient from their sleep and which is not necessarily relieved by pain-killers.

With modern anaesthetics and good technique, root canal treatment is not an uncomfortable procedure. The treatment will generally take two or more visitswith antibacterial dressings being placed into the tooth between appointments. This assists the healing process and any symptoms should be resolved shortly after the first appointment.

A temporary filling is used to protect the tooth in between appointments. Its integrity is very important in maintaining an effective seal to prevent bacterial ingress from saliva contamination.

Once the root canal treatment is finished we may recommend placing a crown over the tooth to protect it in the longer term from fracture. This is particularly relevant for molar teeth,which are at greater risk of root fracture following root canal treatment.