Why is root canal treatment necessary?
Decay or injury can destroy the living pulp.
Dead pulp is more prone to infection leading to abscess and tooth-ache.
The benefits of root canal treatment:
•Avoid permanent loss of teeth.
•Avoid infection spreading beyond the tooth.
•Retreatment or apicectomy is possible if infection recurs.
Root canal treatment is carried out by your dentist over two or more appointments. Your dentist may refer you to a specialist in root canal treatment (endodontist) if the work is particularly complex.
Before you have root canal treatment, your dentist may take a series of x-rays of the affected tooth. This will allow them to build up a clear picture of the root canal and assess the extent of any damage.
Removing the pulp
Your dentist will open your tooth through the crown of the tooth, to access the soft tissue at the centre of the tooth (pulp). They will then remove any infected pulp that remains.
Cleaning and filling the root canal
After your dentist has removed the pulp, they will clean and enlarge the root canal so it can be easily filled. The root canal is usually very narrow, which makes it difficult to fill.
This part of the treatment may need to be carried out over a number of visits.
Sealing and repairing the tooth
At your next visit, the temporary filling and medication within the tooth will be removed and the root canal filling will be inserted. This, along with a well-fitting restoration, will seal the tooth and prevent re-infection.
Root-filled teeth are more likely to break than healthy unrestored teeth, so your dentist may suggest placing a crown on the tooth to protect it. In some cases, a root-filled tooth may darken, particularly if it has died as a result of an injury, such as a knock to the tooth.
Root canal treatment is usually successful at saving the tooth and clearing the infection.
If you practice good oral hygiene you should be able to successfully keep the tooth for a extended time. The survival of your tooth depends on a number of factors including:
However, if an infection does return, the treatment can be repeated, an apicetomy can be performed or the tooth needs to be extracted.
Any further questions?
Upwell Road Dental Centre
84 Upwell Road
Ground Floor Tel:
First Floor Tel:
Monday to Fridays: 08:40 am to 12:30pm & 01:30 pm to 05:10pm
Saturdays by arrangement
Cottenham Dental Practice
The Old Telephone Exchange
40 Margett Street
Monday to Fridays: 09:00 am to 01:00pm & 02:00 pm to 05:30pm
Saturdays by arrangement
If you have a problem outside our opening hours, please see the emergency plan.
Updated: February 2020