Root Fillings

Root canal treatment is a painless procedure. It is a ‘last ditch’ attempt to save a dead or dying tooth where the only alternative would be to remove it. It is a technically demanding procedure for your dentist, requiring special ‘single use’ instruments, but it saves your tooth. 😊 Root filled teeth may also require a crown afterwards to protect the root filled tooth.

This becomes necessary when the ‘pulp’ (sometimes referred to as the ‘nerve’ in the tooth) dies. It becomes septic and infected and results in a dental abscess. An abscess is often, although not always, painful. It is often associated with swelling of the surrounding tissues and in extreme cases, can be life threatening.

Root canal treatment removes the infection whilst saving your tooth. It is a challenging procedure technically for your dentist, but we make you relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure and indeed many of our client’s fall asleep whilst we do all the hard work! We know this because they often snore!

  • Preserves your tooth* – no extraction necessary
  • Removes your pain and discomfort
  • Lowers your costs – replacing a tooth is more expensive than saving it!

*All clients are advised to have a crown over a root filled tooth. This covers and protects the tooth and prevents it from breaking.

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?

No. 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 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 tooth is permanently filled.

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, if the infection comes back the treatment can be repeated.

Is it expensive?

You can have root canal treatment on the National Health Service. However, due to the time it takes and the skill needed, many dentists prefer to carry out this treatment privately. 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.

Where can this treatment be carried out?

Root canal treatment is a routine dental procedure, which your dentist will be happy to do for you.

What about aftercare?

Root-treated teeth should be treated just the same as any other tooth. Remember to clean your teeth at least once a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste. Cut down on sugary snacks, and keep them only to mealtimes if possible. See your dentist for regular check-ups.