Upwell Road Dental Centre Cottenham Dental Practice
Upwell Road Dental CentreCottenham Dental Practice

Root Canal Treatment

 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:

   •Relieve pain.

   •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.

Tooth preparation

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:

  • how much of the natural tooth remains
  • how well you keep your teeth clean
  • the biting forces on the tooth

However, if an infection does return, the treatment can be repeated, an apicetomy can be performed or the tooth needs to be extracted.

Making an appointment:

Any further questions?

Contact us:

Upwell Road Dental Centre

84 Upwell Road



PE15 0DA


Ground Floor Tel:

01354 653539


First Floor Tel:

01354 651046 


Opening hours:

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



CB24 8QY



01954 251696 


Opening hours:

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


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