Tunbridge Wells Dentist
01892 533944
46 St. Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells

Root Canal Treatment

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment (also called endodontic) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury.

Why is root canal treatment needed?

If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess.

If root canal treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.

Does it hurt?

A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.

What does it involve?

The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection.

Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve one, two or more visits to your dentist.

At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time. 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.

The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the root canal/root canals are permanently filled.

Are there any risks involved with the treatment?

Unfortunately like any other treatment, there are some risks involved with the root canal treatment.

Very unusual but occasionally some pain and discomfort can be experienced during the procedure, especially if the tooth is in the state of acute inflammation.

Although by using the latest technologies and materials available i.e. use of a torque controlled rotary motor for instrumentation, we try to minimize the risk for instrument fracture (endodontic file fracture), there is unfortunately risk for instrument fracture inside of the root canal and this may affect the outcome of the treatment in a negative way.

There is always option to be referred to specialist dentist (endodontist) for root canal treatment.

It is quite common to have some post operative discomfort and pain. This normally is easily controlled by administration of suitable painkillers. Sometimes further medication or treatment will be required to control the pain.

Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, a 100% successful result can't always be guaranteed. If the infection comes back, sometimes the treatment can be repeated.

What will my tooth look like after treatment?

In the past, a root filled tooth would often darken after treatment. However, with modern techniques this does not usually happen. If there is any discolouration, there are several treatments available to restore the natural appearance.

What if it happens again?

Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, a 100% successful result can't always be guaranteed. If the infection comes back, sometimes the treatment can be repeated.

Is it expensive?

Due to the time it takes and skill required there will be some charges involved depending on location, degree of the difficulty and numbers of the root canals. Your dentist will be pleased to give you an estimate.

What if I don't have the treatment?

The alternative is to have the tooth out. Once the pulp is destroyed, it can't heal and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth.

Although some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

Will the tooth be safe after treatment?

Yes. However, it is better to restore the tooth with a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.