Root Canal

So, what is Root CanalThe portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp. treatment?

Root canal treatment is often mentioned when we talk about worst case scenarios. And yet, it is also a vital dental procedure that will let you keep a tooth when the nerve inside needs to be removed.

Every tooth has a nerve chamber and by taking out the decaying dying/inflamed nerve your tooth can stay in your mouth. A root canal treatment, or rootThe anatomic portion of the tooth that is covered by cementum and is located in the alveolus (socket) where it is attached by the periodontal apparatus; radicular portion of tooth. fillingA lay term used for the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy, or porcelain., will ensure that you can keep a tooth that might otherwise have had to be extracted and replaced with a bridgedenture or implant or simply leave you with a gap.

Root canal treatment is required when the nerve of your tooth becomes infected or through trauma to the tooth. Often you will have experienced pain or probably a sleepless night.

To perform root canal treatment your dentist will make sure you feel nothing by administering local anaesthetic. A series of instruments are then used to clean and shape the root canals where the nerve of your tooth used to live. Once clean the space is filled and sealed and the tooth can then be restored with a filling but also often with a crown.

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Dentist explaining to patient how root canal treatment works

I can honestly say I've had nothing but good experiences for myself and my family. Never had to wait more than 10 minutes to be seen, unlike others where I have waited well over an hour on several occasions. Treatment has always been painless and explained clearly. By far the best dental practice I've attended!
Darren Rigby - Dale Road Dental Clinic

Frequently asked questions

What is a root canal?
The root canal is the area inside the centre of the tooth that houses the nerve and blood supply. Some teeth have only one root canal whilst larger teeth towards the back of the mouth can have up to four.
Do I need a root canal?
Root canal (or endodontic) treatment is needed when the nerve in the tooth becomes affected by decay or trauma. In these situations, it can become infected leading to inflammation and pain.
How many appointments are needed for a root canal?
Root canal treatment aims to remove all infection from the affected tooth. It usually takes place over two appointments. The first will focus on clearing the infection and a temporary filling will be fitted. The second will make sure that the infection has cleared, and work to restore the tooth.
Do root canals hurt?
Local anaesthetics make root canal treatments comfortable. Your experience of having this kind of treatment should be little different to that of having a normal filling. Sometimes the treated tooth can be tender to pressure, such as biting, for a day or two after the treatment. This usually subsides quite quickly.
Is there an alternative to root canal treatment?
Usually the only alternative to a root canal will be to have the tooth removed completely, due to the seriousness of the infection. 

A Root Canal Treatment is used to try and prevent teeth from needing to be taken out completely and leaving an infected tooth in the mouth is not advisable. So, it’s definitely the better option!
How do I care for my teeth after root canal treatment?
There are some special precautions after root canal treatment. You can eat quite normally and brush or floss your teeth as usual. As always, you should avoid holding hard objects such as pins or nails between the teeth and also be aware that the tooth is more brittle than it was originally – treat it with some care.

Regular check-ups with your dentist and hygienist are essential to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
What is an endodontist?
An endodontist is a dentist who is a specialist in root canal treatment. Whilst most dentists undertake root canal treatments, particularly complex cases may be referred to an endodontist.
How long does a root canal take?
Advancements in dental technology mean that a root canal treatment can now be undertaken in a much shorter amount of time, sometimes needing just one visit to the dentist. Minor root canal treatments may only need 30 to 60 minutes whereas more complicated root canal issues may require up to 90 minutes of dental treatment.

However, the length of the root canal treatment does also depend on other factors such as the tooth, the roots’ shape and the length of time the patient can sit comfortably during the treatment.
 
How successful is a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is usually successful, and many patients have their tooth saved without infection. Ensuring that your teeth are well maintained with regular cleaning and attending regular check up appointments. Furthermore, ensuring that a crown is fitted to the tooth after the treatment will help improve the tooth survival rate.
When do you need a root canal?
Root canal (or endodontic) treatment is needed when the nerve in the tooth becomes affected by decay or trauma. In these situations, it can become infected leading to inflammation and pain.
What is a root canal filling?
To perform root canal treatment your dentist will make sure you feel nothing by administering a local anaesthetic. They will then clean and shape the root canals where the nerve of your tooth used to live. Once clean the space is filled and sealed, and the tooth can then be restored with a filling. Depending on the health of the tooth, a dental crown might also be used here.
How much is a root canal?
A root canal treatment on the NHS costs £62.10 (Band 2).

Privately paying patients can pay between £175 - £900 depending on the complexity of the case. Your dentist will be able to advise on the cost of private treatment and what it entails.
 
Can you eat after a root canal?
Your dentist will advise that you can eat once the anaesthetic has worn off after root canal treatment. You will also be advised to avoid eating any foot that might aggravate or cause pain in the days after root canal. Instead, you should aim to eat softer foods such as soup, eggs and pasta.

You should avoid foods that might harm or pull off the temporary crown, including, hard sweets, chewy foods, ice cubes, hot or cold drinks or chewy sweets such as toffee.
 

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