Root Canal

Root Canal Treatment (Endodontics)

Root canal treatment (known as endodontics) is a routine dental procedure which is needed when the blood or nerve supply of a tooth (called the pulp) becomes infected due to tooth decay or injury.

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If the pulp becomes infected, the infection could spread throughout the root system of the tooth and cause an abscess. This can be very painful and the tooth may need to be extracted. Root canal treatment can prevent the spread of infection and save the tooth.

  1. Root canal treatment is usually very successful and no further treatment should be needed. However, if the infection does not return, the treatment can be repeated.
  2. The tooth should be safe after treatment but is prone to fracture. Hence most dentists will recommend that the tooth is crowned to give it extra support and strength.
  3. You can have the affected tooth removed. Once the pulp is destroyed, it cannot heal, and an infected tooth should not be left in the mouth. Some people prefer to have an infected tooth extracted, but it is recommended that you keep as many natural teeth as possible.

The Treatment Plan

You will need to have at least two appointments if you have root canal treatment.

Appointment 1
Remove infection, clean and fill.

  1. At the first visit, the dentist will remove any infected pulp and drain any abscesses. The root canal can then be cleaned and shaped ready for filling.
  2. A temporary root filling is placed and the tooth is left for a short time to settle down before the next stage of the treatment.

Appointment 2
Examination and permanently filled.

  1. The dentist will check that the pulp is clear from infection before the tooth is permanently filled
  2. Alternatively, the tooth can be crowned. The dentist will advise you on the best option for you