Root Canal Treatment

shutterstock_258926738Root canal treatment is the process of removing the inflamed or infected pulp tissue of a tooth, disinfecting the canals and placing in to the root canal space a biocompatible filling material.

Prior to the advent of the root canal treatment the only other choice was to remove the infected tooth.

Root canal treatments can be highly successful and effective when performed to a high standard on a well selected tooth.

Reasons for root canal therapy

Root canal treatment may be needed as a consequence of decay affecting the tooth’s pulp, an abscess or an infection developing within or around the tooth or an injury or trauma causing the pulp to die.

Indications that root canal therapy may be needed are a severe toothache, an abscess (pimple) on the gum, lingering sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, presence of a swelling and or tenderness on pressure and biting.

In some instances the pulp of a tooth may die without showing any symptoms and the signs may only be found by an incidental investigation, such as an x-ray (radiographs) or by the tooth changing to a darker colour.

Why choose an endodontist?

Endodontists are specialist dentists who have completed a number of years of additional training to carry out this procedure. Endodontists tend to be more effective in treating and diagnosing complex or difficult cases such as:

  • Complex dental root anatomy.
  • Difficult root canal access.
  • Blocked root canals.
  • Endodontic re-treatments or removal of separated instruments.
  • Apicectomies.
  • Cracked teeth.
  • Traumatic injuries.
  • Endodontics in children.
  • Non-vital bleaching.
  • Complex medical conditions.
  • Complex and difficult pain histories.

Why choose endodontics at Boston House?

We believe a successful outcome is dependent on our diligence.

Dr Robert Crawford is our lead endodontist and carries out all aspects of endodontic treatment.

Dr Crawford holds a consultant post at the Eastman Dental Hospital and was the cinical lead from 2010 to 2014 and is additionally involved in the training of the next generation of endodontic specialists in his capacity as the Educational Supervisor for Specialist Registrar trainees.

Dr Crawford holds additional specialist qualifications in restorative dentistry, prosthodontics and periodontology and is a highly experienced diagnostician.

Dr Crawford is supported by a highly caring and experienced team and has access to the latest technology and materials to be able to care for you.

How much time will I need to take of work?

Typically no time off work is required. The procedure is usually performed in between your daily schedule.

How long will the procedure take?

The procedure usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the case. After your consultation a more accurate time can be estimated. We devote a lot of uninterrupted time to care for you and your tooth.

To help pass the time, during procedure, you can listen to your choice of music, watch a TV program on BBC iPlayer or enjoy a movie on Netflix.

Will the procedure be completed in one visit?

Your dentist will aim to finish the treatment in one visit. However, certain cases such as an abscessed tooth may require further visits. In general the vast majority of cases do not require more than two visits.

What are the steps in a root canal treatment?

The following is a broad summary:

  • Local anaesthetic is administered to the area.
  • A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
    • A small hole is made through the top of the tooth to gain access to the canal space
    • The area is cleaned and disinfected and sometimes dressed
    • Appropriate X-rays (radiographs) are taken
    • Once happy with the disinfection process the canal spaces are filled using a biocompatible material
    • A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening
    • Patients then need to see their general dentist for the completion of any further restoration of the crown of the tooth, such as crowns or fillings

Should I expect pain or discomfort after treatment?

The treated tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be tender or sensitive to bite and pressure for a few days, as a result of manipulation during treatment and previous condition of your tooth.

However, in many instances, there may be no discomfort post treatment.