Root canal therapy

Root Canal Therapy – a tooth saving solution.

Root canal therapy (or endodontics) helps to save a tooth from extraction by removing infected or inflamed pulp from its chamber. The pulp is the ‘living’ tissue at the centre of the tooth and it is packed with nerves and blood vessels.

This soft pulp can be infected by bacteria, which enters the tooth via holes formed by dental decay, a deep filling or damage to the tooth.

The advantages

  • Tooth saving – a tooth that may have otherwise had to be removed can be retained
  • Prevents further infection – if the source of infection is removed it will stop it spreading to other areas
  • Pain relieving – an infected tooth can be particularly painful
  • Cost-effective – less expensive than having to replace a lost tooth

The treatment process

  • We take an x-ray to examine the root canals and see if there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone.
  • A rubber sheet is placed around the tooth to keep it free from saliva, which is important for successful treatment.
  • We remove the infected pulp, under a local anaesthetic, and the root canals are flushed with an anti-bacterial solution.
  • We shape the canals and wash again to remove any debris.
  • The freshly cleaned root canals are filled with a rubber compound (gutta percha), which seals the tooth and prevents bacteria from entering.
  • We seal the filled root canal with a permanent filling or a crown to help restore tooth strength, shape and functionality.

More about root canal therapy

Although root canal therapy is often considered to be a painful procedure, it should be no more uncomfortable than having a conventional filling.

If you attend regular check-ups and maintain an effective oral hygiene routine, with regular brushing and interdental cleaning, your treated tooth should stay problem-free. Even though the ‘living’ pulp has been removed, the tooth remains functional as it is supported by the underlying bone and it is also safely sealed against further infection.

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