Root Canal Treatment

  1. What is root canal treatment?
  2. Root Canal Treatment, (also called Endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury.

  3. Why is root canal treatment needed?
  4. If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth, which may eventually lead to an abscess. If Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.

  5. Does it hurt?
  6. No. A local anaesthectic is used and the whole procedure should feel no different to that of having an ordinary filling done.

  7. What does it involve?
  8. The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. Root Canal treatment is a skilled and time consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to your dentist. At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is inserted and the tooth is left to settle. The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.

  9. What will my tooth look like after treatment?
  10. In the past, a root filled tooth would often darken after treatment. However with modern techniques, this does not usually happen. If any discolouration should take place, there are several treatments available to restore the natural appearance.

  11. What if it happens again?
  12. Root canal treatment is usually very successful, however if there should be a recurrence of infection, the treatment can be repeated.

  13. Is it expensive?
  14. Root canal treatment is available on the National Health Service, however, due to the length of time required and the skill needed, many dentists prefer to carry out this treatment on a private basis. Your dentist will be pleased to give you an estimate.

  15. What if I don't have the treatment?
  16. The alternative to RCT is the removal of the tooth. Once the pulp is destroyed, it can't heal and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. Whilst some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually advisable to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

  17. Will the tooth be safe after treatment?
  18. Yes. However it is advisable to restore the tooth with a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.

  19. Where can this treatment be carried out?
  20. Root Canal Treatment is a routine dental procedure, which your dentist will be happy to provide.

  21. What about aftercare?
  22. Root treated teeth should be treated just the same as any other tooth. Remember to clean your teeth at least once a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste. Keep sugary snacks to a minimum, and only to mealtimes if possible. Attend your dentist for regular check-ups.

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