Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment, or endodontics, is usually recommended when the pulp of the tooth, which is a soft mass of tissue which carries the nerve supply and nutrients through the root, becomes infected – either through decay or trauma, such as an injury. If left untreated, the infection can lead to damage around the bone of the tooth (abscess), which would likely lead to the removal of the tooth altogether. Symptoms include:

  • Pain while eating, drinking biting or chewing
  • A loose tooth
  • Gum swelling
  • Pus
  • Facial swelling
  • Darkening of the tooth

root-canal

Because the treatment area is so small, the highly skilled procedure can be quite lengthy and may require a couple of appointments.

We start by x-raying the affected tooth, before giving you local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area. We will then make an opening in the tooth to access the pulp and clean it out, before using a root filling to fill the space that has been cleaned. You may also need a crown to strengthen the tooth, depending on how weak it has become.

The success rate for root canal treatment is about 80-85%, but in some cases the tooth may need to be retreated, or removed, if infection recurs. In the majority of cases, a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.

 

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