General Dentistry

Root Canal Treatments


Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment is one of the most complex treatments which will help save a badly broken tooth with an infected nerve.

Root canal treatment (also called endodontic treatment) is needed when the blood and nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury, often causing an abscess under the tooth. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth will need to be taken out.

These infections can cause extreme discomfort, sleepless nights and feeling unwell.

If you’ve had any of the following, you may need root canal treatment:

  • Tooth or gum discomfort or discolouration with or without pus drainage
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • A recurring or permanent boil on your gums above one of your teeth
  • Swelling or tenderness under your jaw

For years, root canal treatment has had a bad reputation, but with modern methods we can fix badly damaged teeth and rescue them from otherwise certain removal. It works by removing the damaged part of the tooth and disinfecting the root system before sealing it back up. All of this is done under local anaesthetic and although lengthy, with the use of modern techniques, it involves little or no discomfort. Moreover if there is pain before treatment, endodontic therapy actually provides relief.

If this treatment is on an already badly broken tooth, it usually means they are weak, which is why we often recommend crowns after root canal treatments, especially on back teeth.

Most root canal treatments can be accomplished in one visit. However, depending on the extent and complexity of the problem, the type of the tooth and whether you need a crown, it may take more than one visit to complete. Back teeth and/or very broken down teeth tend to be more complex. 

Endodontic treatment can only be performed if the root canals are accessible and can be adequately cleaned and sealed. The tooth must also have sufficient bone support. We only carry out a root canal treatment where we can give a good long term prognosis. Occasionally, on more complex cases a referral to a specialist may be necessary. 

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