Root canal treatment, or endodontics, is needed when the blood or nerve supply of a tooth becomes infected due to dental decay, injury or trauma. If the infection is allowed to spread, this eventually may cause an abscess. This can lead to a high degree of tenderness and discomfort for a patient.
The aim of the treatment is to remove the infection from the root canal and to permanently fill it, preventing future problems and retaining your natural tooth. The only alternative to root canal treatment would be extraction of the infected tooth, which we try to avoid wherever possible.
Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming process that usually involves one or more visits to our surgery to complete.
Any of the following symptoms may indicate you need root canal treatment:
- pain when biting or chewing
- swelling of the gum near the affected tooth
- pus oozing from the affected tooth
- facial swelling
- the tooth becoming a darker colour
It is extremely important to see your dentist if you develop a toothache or any of the above symptoms. An infected tooth will not go away and cannot heal on its own.
How can LS1 Dental help?
Many people don’t look forward to having root canal treatment and may have even heard ‘horror stories’ relating to the procedure. At LS1 Dental, we help to ease your concerns by using the latest techniques, equipment and processes. We make sure that treatment is carried out in a pain-free way, and ensure that you are entirely comfortable and at ease throughout the procedure. In fact, you will likely find that you feel a sense of relief after treatment as your tooth pain will have been removed. Our team have a lot of experience and pride themselves on keeping up to date on all current methods and techniques to ensure you are in the best hands at all times. We are also happy to give moral support and advice too.
Testimonial from a LS1 patient: ‘the team were amazing. I was so worried about the treatment and then I didn’t feel a thing!! I cannot thank them enough’ J.Yates
What happens before treatment?
Before we arrange any treatment appointments, you will need a dental examination and X-rays to give us an idea of the severity of the infection. We will be able to see how many root canals the infected tooth has and let you know if the treatment is possible. In a small number of cases, root canal treatment may not be an option. In this case, we will propose alternative treatment and discuss with you in detail.
Your dentist will be able to tell you exactly what will be involved for your individual case, and talk you through the procedure in detail. We aim to put you at ease and allow you to make an informed decision about going ahead with the procedure or any other options that may be available to you at that stage.
We offer extremely flexible appointments, with early morning and late evenings being available for your convenience.
What happens during a root canal appointment?
Firstly, you will be given a local anaesthetic, which will stop you feeling pain in the area being worked on. To get the tooth ready, your dentist will separate it from the rest of your mouth using a sheet of plastic known as a rubber dam, which stops any harmful bacteria from the infected tooth spreading around your mouth.
Your dentist will then drill an access hole in the tooth, to gain access to the infected pulp and decaying tissue, which they will clean out using a special antiseptic fluid. In order to fill the root canal system properly, it may have to be widened using special files. As this process can take time, you may have to come back for a second session before a permanent seal can be applied. If so, your dentist will use a temporary filling to plug the gap. Once the permanent seal has been fitted, we may recommend that you consider a crown, however this is something you would discuss at length with the LS1 team.