In certain cases where there is an infection or inflammation within a tooth, a root canal treatment may be required. At Thousand Smiles, our skilled and extensively trained dentists specialise in performing this procedure. The goal is to effectively clean and fill the affected tooth, thereby preventing the spread of infection or additional damage.
Undergoing a root canal treatment at Thousand Smiles can help preserve your natural tooth, eliminating the need for tooth extraction. This not only saves your tooth but also mitigates the potential complications associated with tooth removal in the future.
A root canal refers to a part of the tooth’s structure. Each tooth has roots that secure it firmly into the jawbone. Within each tooth, you’ll find a combination of nerves and blood vessels collectively known as the pulp. This pulp resides within a designated area known as the pulp chamber, which extends all the way into the tooth’s root. The section of the pulp chamber that is within the root is what we term as the ‘root canal’. Get the best advice and treatment for root canal procedures at Thousand Smiles, London.
When your tooth gets damaged, bacteria can enter it, causing pain, swelling and irritation. If the pulp in the tooth gets infected, the infection can spread into the pulp in the root canal.
Root canal treatment aims to prevent tooth removal by removing the damaged pulp and treating the infection. Root canal treatment may be necessary for the following reasons.
If you don’t treat the infection, it can spread to cause an abscess, a collection of pus. An abscess is usually tender and painful and may cause swelling around the jaw and tooth.
The tooth may also look darker than other teeth, which indicates the nerve inside the tooth is dying or dead.
Most times, damage to the root canal causes toothache, so if you experience this symptom, contact our dental practice to book an appointment with the dentist.
Root canal treatment is not painful. The dentist will apply a local anaesthetic, so you won’t feel any sensation. The procedure is similar to filling a tooth.
Inform our dentist if you are nervous about undergoing a root canal treatment. We can offer you dental sedation to help you ease off during the procedure.
A dentist usually carries out the root canal treatment, but if treating the tooth is difficult, we can refer you to our endodontist, a dentist specialising in root canal treatment.
Our dentist will examine your teeth and inquire about your symptoms, including any pain you may be experiencing. The dentist may also want to know your medical history and any previous treatment on the teeth.
A dental x-ray may be necessary to determine which tooth is causing the pain and requires treatment. The x-ray can show the extent of the infection and ensure that the tooth isn’t severely damaged for a root canal treatment.
Some root canal treatments require one appointment, but most are completed over two or more sessions with our dentist.
The cost of your root canal treatment at our dental practice varies, depending on your individual needs. During your appointment, the dentist will inform you of the breakdown of the costs after assessing your exact needs.
Root canal treatment helps to save a tooth, allowing you to maintain a natural and healthy smile. Complete tooth removal is the alternative to root canal treatment because the infection can’t heal on its own.
Our dentist will take the necessary steps to save your natural, but they may recommend removing the tooth if it is severely damaged or you have severe gum disease that prevents the tooth from healing after treatment.
After our dentist numbs the affected area, they place a thin rubber sheet called a dental dam in your mouth. The rubber sheet will cover everything in your mouth except the tooth that requires treatment. Keeping the area around the tooth clean is important to stop the spread of the infection.
The dentist will use a drill to make a hole on top of the tooth and then remove the pulp. The dentist will clear out the hole with a small instrument, disinfect the tooth with a liquid and flush out the infected material.
The dental instrument will help keep the canals in regular shape to allow the filling and cleaning of the tooth properly.
After cleaning the tooth, the dentist will fill and seal it. When the dentist is sure there is no infected area in the tooth, they will place a temporary filling. During your second appointment, our dentist will apply the permanent filling.
If you are at a high risk of further tooth damage or the tooth is severely worn down, your dentist may recommend fitting a crown, an artificial cap placed over the tooth.
After the local anaesthetic wears off, it may take a couple of hours before you begin to feel your face and jaw. Be careful not to knock the area or bump into anything. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and paracetamol can stop the discomfort after the local anaesthetic wears off. You can resume your activities after the procedure.
Slight tenderness around the treated area may occur, usually lasting only a short period. Your tooth may also be bruised and swollen, but you should feel better within two weeks.
Your next appointment with the dentist will depend on how the procedure went and the reason for your treatment. The dentist may ask you to get further x-rays and check if the tooth is healing properly.
Root canal treatment usually makes the teeth darker, but with modern dental techniques, the dentist can leave the affected tooth looking almost as it was before treatment. Our dentist will happily answer any questions about your teeth’ appearance.
In most cases, the root canal treatment is successful, but like other dental procedures, occasional complications may occur. These complications include: