Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes bacteria can get deep within the tooth and cause infection. Our dentists can eliminate these bacteria from your root canal and save your natural tooth.

What Is Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal is an endodontic treatment – it focuses on diagnosing and treating tooth pain inside the tooth.

The ‘root canal’ refers to the tooth’s interior passages between the pulp and the tooth roots. The blood or nerve supply inside the tooth is known as the pulp. When tooth pulp gets infected from decay or injury, patients need root canal treatment to prevent the infection from spreading and becoming an abscess. Root canal treatment is usually the only way to save the tooth.

Typically, root canal pain is the result of tooth decay that penetrates the outer layers of teeth or trauma, such as cracks or chips in the tooth.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal Treatment

Tooth pain may be the cause of a few different oral health issues. Patients should always book an appointment if they’re experiencing any pain or concerning issues with their teeth and gums. Some indicators of an infection may include:
  • Severe teeth pain when eating or putting pressure on your teeth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the stimuli has been removed
  • Gum tenderness or swelling near the painful area
  • A bump on the gums in the affected area
  • Teeth that seem to have darkened in colour

Of course, we will be able to diagnose your oral health issue during an in-person examination. If you suspect you may have an infected root canal, early intervention is the best way for us to treat the area and save the tooth.

The Root Canal Procedure

Once we have confirmed a diagnosis, and see the extent of damage on an X-ray, we can move forward with the procedure. We use local anaesthesia on the area, so patients won’t feel pain during their root canal treatment. There will be some pressure, but it should feel no different from having an ordinary filling done.

Root canal treatment is a standard procedure that requires skill and can be time-consuming. We do not rush this process, ensuring we remove all the infected tissue. This thorough approach means root canal treatments usually take place over two appointments.

At the first appointment, we remove the infected pulp. Once the local anaesthetic takes effect, we place a rubber dam around the area to keep it dry while we work. The dentist uses specialised tools to drill an access hole into the tooth then removes all the damaged nerve and pulp tissue. If abscesses are present, we also drain them during this visit. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.

On your second visit, we check to make sure that all the infection has cleared. If the area looks clean, the tooth is permanently filled. Depending on what we see, we may recommend restoring the tooth with a crown to provide extra support and strength.

What to Expect Following Root Canal Treatment

Following your treatment, there will be some tooth pain and sensitivity. This pain can generally be managed with over-the-counter medications. It will take some time for the local anaesthesia to wear off, so be mindful that you don’t accidentally bite your cheek. In rare cases, there may be discolouration, but we have several dental treatments available to restore the natural appearance of your tooth.

Caring for Your Teeth After Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, if the infection comes back the treatment can be repeated. Taking care of your teeth properly may prevent the infection from returning. Following root canal treatment, your teeth should be treated just the same as any other tooth. Remember to clean your teeth at least twice a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once daily. Cut down on sugary snacks, and if possible, limit them only to mealtimes. Lastly, make sure you see your dentist for regular check-ups.

Root Canal Treatment Alternative

During your consultation for any treatment at Hutton Village Dental Practice, we outline all of your options. If you do not want to have root canal treatment, the alternative is to have the tooth extracted. Once the tooth pulp is destroyed, it can’t heal, and leaving an infected tooth in the mouth is not recommended. Although some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

Ask Our Team About Root Canal Treatment

Knowledge sharing is key at our Brentwood dental practice. If you have any questions about any of our dental treatments, including root canal treatment, ask away! Giving our patients the information they seek is just one of the ways we provide exceptional patient care.