Root canal treatment, also known as endodontics, is an essential procedure to save your tooth that is needed when the pulp (the blood or nerve supply) of your tooth becomes infected through decay or injury.
Without root canal treatment, you could end up losing your tooth. Once the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system, eventually leading to a painful dental abscess and possibly to tooth loss.
Root canal treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic, and many patients report that it feels no different to having a filling, although treatment time will be longer, because root canal treatment is a skilled and delicate procedure.
In most cases, you will need to visit us at least twice. At the first appointment, the root canal of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned to remove all traces of infection. We use the latest equipment including single-use rotary files, as part of our strict cross infection control.
The length of your appointment will vary as different teeth have a different number of root canals; whilst front teeth usually have a single root with a single root canal, back teeth can have two or more roots each with two or more root canals.
If you have an abscess this will be drained at your first appointment and your tooth will be shaped ready to be filled. We will then insert a temporary filling and leave your tooth to settle.
When you come back for your second appointment, we will check that the infection has fully cleared before permanently filling the tooth. It is good practice to place a crown on top of a root-treated tooth because the tooth will be weakened by treatment, and a crown will provide additional strength.
Root treated teeth can be prone to discolouration and darkening.Back to Treatments