Why do I need root canal treatment?
Inside a tooth there is a pulp chamber and root canals, which contain the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves. Sometimes the nerve within a tooth can become irreversibly inflamed or die off and become infected (sometimes called an abscess).
This can happen if your tooth has decay or has previously had a deep filling, crown or bridge or has been traumatised in some way.
If you wish to try and save the tooth and avoid having it extracted, then the inflamed or infected nerve tissue needs to be removed. The pulp chamber and root canals need to be disinfected to attempt to kill off any bacteria that may have contaminated the inside of the tooth.
Following root canal treatment in many cases your dentist will recommend that the tooth is also provided with a crown or onlay. This is to reduce the chance of the weakened tooth fracturing and also to help protect the root canal treatment from becoming infected again.
What happens when I have a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatments can be carried out over one or two appointments and your dentist will advise which is more appropriate in your particular case.
Appointments will usually take 30-60 minutes.
Local anaesthetic will be used to ensure the procedure is comfortable and a sheet of rubber dam will be placed over the tooth to protect the tooth against further bacteria getting into the canals. This will also to protect you from the disinfecting chemicals your dentist will use to kill off any bacteria within the tooth.
Sometimes teeth can be uncomfortable for a few days following root canal treatment as the tissues around the roots recover. Any discomfort can be managed with over the counter medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
If discomfort continues for longer than this or is not responding to medication then please contact the practice.
Will root canal treatment be successful?
In 75-90% of cases, root canal treatment will successfully prolong the life of your tooth. Your dentist will advise you on your particular case.
It is important to appreciate that despite us taking a great deal of care in your treatment unfortunately it is not always possible to achieve a successful outcome and reinfection can occur.
In these cases it may be possible to discuss referral to a specialist endodontist to have your tooth retreated or it may be that the tooth requires extraction.
Are there any risks to having root canal treatment?
We will always treat you with the upmost care, however occasionally adverse complications can occur with root canal treatment.
During root canal treatment the fine instruments we use can fracture and break within the tooth or even perforate through the side of the root. If such a complication occurs we will inform you of this and advise on whether any remedial action is possible or required.
How much does root canal treatment cost?
The cost of your root canal treatment will vary depending on the tooth, the level of infection and the expected time required to perform the treatment.
Your dentist will advise you of this at the time of booking and provide you with a written estimate.
Root canal treatments start from £200.
The cost of root canal treatment is included in the Complete Care Plans
For full pricing details, download our latest Price Guide