Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a procedure, available at our dental clinic, to treat teeth that have become infected by bacteria.

The root canal may become infected in a number of ways, with the most common being tooth trauma, tooth decay or a poorly fitting filling.

The purpose of the root canal procedure is to rid a tooth of infection. Once the bacteria is all cleared, the tooth is then sealed with a filling or crown to prevent infection reoccurring.

The root of a tooth isn’t visible in the mouth. It sits below the visible part of tooth – known as the crown – and anchors the tooth in position. The canal system, of which a single tooth can have more than one, contains dental pulp, which consists of soft tissue, nerves and blood vessels.

If bacteria infects the pulp, it will begin to die and make your tooth painful. Additionally, over time, your tooth could darken in colour and, in serious cases, a dental abscess may form. During the early stages of infection, pain may be minimal, or even non existent, but the longer you leave the infection to spread through the root canal system, the more painful it will become.

Left unattended, the bacterial infection can spread to a degree that the tooth can’t be saved and will need to be removed. Treating an infected root canal system to save the tooth is much preferable to just having it removed because it will maintain your natural smile and won’t effect your sensation, chewing and biting force.

The success rate for root canal treatment is very high and a treated tooth will normally survive for years afterwards. As you’ll be given a local anaesthetic, root canal treatment, which typically involves two visits to our dental clinic, shouldn’t be any more painful or uncomfortable than having a filling.