Root Canal

We are able to carry out simple and advanced root canal (endodontic) treatment on posterior or anterior teeth. We will always advise you if specialist treatment is required.

Root canal treatment maybe carried out over multiple visits using local anaesthetic and normally sufficient but sedation is available if you are feeling nervous or anxious about the treatment.  You will have the piece of mind that as a private dental practice we will be using the latest in dental materials when completeing your root canal treatment.

What is a Root Canal Filling?

The object of root filling is to remove the inflamed or dead pulp from a tooth and replace it with a sterile non-irritant, insoluble root canal filling that seals off the entire canal and thereby prevents any recurrence of infection. A root canal filling treatment can be done over one or two appointments.

Why is root treatment necessary?

Teeth are living parts of the body.  Teeth have an outer hard covering (enamel), however, the core of the tooth is a softer substance (dentine) and inside this there is a nerve and blood supply to the tooth.  On occasion this nerve can become inflamed resulting in sensitivity, toothache and/or a dental abscess.  Root treatments are required when the damage to the nerve is irreversible and it is necessary to clean out the space in the centre of the tooth where the nerve normally lies and to seal that space to prevent further infection or inflammation.  Common reasons for damage to the nerve of a tooth include trauma (accidents) dental diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease, tooth wear and or erosion (due to acids in food or from the stomach)

How are root treatments done?

Root treatments can take a number of visits depending on how complex the root is or whether the infection settles.  There are a variety of techniques used for cleaning and shaping the root canals which involve the use of fine instruments called files.  On occasion these files can break inside the tooth which may require further treatment or referral if this occurs.  Your dentist will be able to discuss with you the likelihood of fracture of files which may be more likely in certain circumstances.  Sometimes it is possible to complete a root treatment even with a piece of file inside a tooth. However it may also be necessary to monitor the outcome or refer to a specialist if the breakage of the file compromises a good outcome.

What happens after a tooth is root treated?

Depending on whether the tooth is infected or not, the treatment may take a number of visits to complete.  Patients can experience some tenderness or soreness in the tooth after a root treatment and occasionally the tooth may not settle down and further treatment or a re-treatment may be required.  If the root treatment is not successful in resolving the symptoms (if present) then the tooth may ultimately need to be removed. Your dentist should be able to discuss the prospect of success with you and whether there are any particular reasons why an individually tooth might have a higher risk of failure.

Despite the best techniques being used, success cannot be guaranteed particularly in teeth with a complex anatomy.  The majority of root treatments are, however, successful and avoid the loss of a tooth which can create more significant problems.

What other treatment may be required?

When teeth are root treated it is important to understand fully any future treatment that is required in order to protect that tooth.  Root treated teeth have often already suffered a significant amount of damage and it may be necessary to protect them with a crown or some other long term solution.  The root treatment may save a tooth but there is often a significant amount of additional treatment required because of the earlier damage to the tooth before it needed root treatment.  Root treated teeth can look darker than non root treated teeth and your dentist will be able to discuss any cosmetic treatment needed to address this where necessary.

We are able to take referrals from other practices and endeavour to see you within a week, avoiding long NHS waiting lists.