root canal treatment

Root canal treatment is required when the canal containing the nerve of the tooth becomes infected. This infection can spread through the root of the tooth and cause an abscess. As the nerve inside the tooth is likely to be dead you are unlikely to feel any pain in the initial stages of the infection. However as the infection progresses and an abscess forms you may experience some pain and swelling.

In order to save the tooth it is necessary to perform root canal treatment. This involves numbing the tooth with a local anaesthetic so that you will feel no pain and then a small opening is made into the tooth so that the canals can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to remove any bacteria present. Once completed the tooth may be left with an antibacterial dressing inside for a week to ensure that all infection is removed. The tooth will then be covered with a temporary filling to allow the tooth to have time to settle. You may feel some tenderness following the procedure but this should lessen over time.

As root canal treatment is a complex and time consuming procedure it may be necessary for you to visit the dentist two or three times for the treatment to be fully completed.

Following successful root canal treatment the tooth will need to be crowned to both strengthen and protect it.

Most cases of root canal treatment can be completed in practice. However in some cases it may be necessary to refer you to a specialist in root canal treatment, an endodontist, who will have additional equipment to ensure that best possible outcome.

Although the success rates for root canal treatment are very good in some cases we are unable to save the tooth. The only other option would then be to extract the tooth and look at providing an implant, bridge or denture to fill the gap created.