Root Canal Treatment


Root canal treatments which are also known as endodontics, are a relatively straightforward procedure to relieve dental pain and prevent the loss of a tooth. They are usually needed when a tooth becomes inflamed or infected, and this specialised procedure carefully removes the infected nerve from inside the tooth, cleans and disinfects the root canals and inserts a filling into the space created to seal up the area.

Root canal treatments always receive bad press, but the preconceived notion that root canal treatments are excruciatingly painful is simply not true. In fact, a root canal treatment relieves acute dental pain, and modern-day advances in treatment procedures have made them a virtually pain-free experience which can usually be completed in a single visit.

There are many benefits of having a root canal treatment including preserving the healthy structure of a tooth, stopping the spread of infection and also restoring a tooth to its natural look and feel.

Signs that you might need root canal can include:

  • Pain or sensitivity when consuming hot or cold food and drink

  • Pain when biting down

  • Teeth are loose.

  • Swollen gums

  • Facial swelling

  • Pus around your tooth or gum

  • Discoloration of a tooth

In some cases, early symptoms can disappear if ignored over time. But this does not mean the infection has healed itself; it just means the nerve of the tooth has been destroyed by the infection, and you can no longer feel the symptoms. Eventually these will return and symptoms will usually be much more aggravated as the infection will have spread much further.

Visiting your dentist, as soon as you experience any type of tooth pain will help prevent infections from spreading into more serious stages. It will also improve the chances of a root canal treatment being successful.

It is also important to remember that any antibiotics prescribed as part of your treatment are not enough to kill the infection on their own. Although symptoms may reduce after taking a course of antibiotics, a root canal treatment will still need to be completed.

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Root canal therapy treatment guide

  • To start a local anaesthetic will be given to ensure no pain or discomfort is felt during the procedure.

  • A small access hole will be drilled to allow access to the canals of the teeth.

  • The root canals will be cleaned and disinfected to remove any remaining infection.

  • The root canals are then filled and sealed with a filling.

Root canal treatment is a time-consuming and highly skilled procedure and, most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits.

Life benefits

  • Saves a healthy tooth from extraction

  • Stops the spread of infection.

  • The tooth will look and feel completely natural.

Root canal treatment, will save your natural tooth and allow you to keep it functional for decades if not a lifetime. But just as no two people are the same, teeth also vary widely, so that the success of root canal treatment depends on many factors. Root canal treatment may fail due for a number of reasons. Sometimes, removing the old root filling and replacing it with a new one will solve the problem. At other times, it may be more sensible to extract the tooth.

A root-filled tooth often needs to be fitted with a crown. Once the root canal filling has been completed successfully, the tooth can remain in function for many years.