Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy might sound scary but don’t worry, it’s a painless procedure that can save badly infected roots and you’re much better off having it done while there’s still time to save your tooth.

An infection in the deep central layer of a tooth can happen as a result of advanced decay or severe damage that’s caused a crack, and occasionally it can be a result of gum disease.

If you have an infection in the dental pulp (the centre of a tooth that’s living connective tissue) you will probably notice pain and an increased sensitivity to hot or cold. If your root or nerves have died then the tooth may become discoloured and the gum may swell and feel sore. Some people notice a metallic taste in the mouth.

Occasionally though there are no symptoms at all and that’s why it’s important to have your teeth looked at if you have any concerns. If left untreated this could result in a painful abscess and in some cases the bone can start to shrink, resulting in tooth loss. Root canal therapy is a safe way of saving teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted.

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0203 411 1550

What’s so good about Root Canal Therapy?

  • You get to save a tooth that might otherwise be lost through infection.
  • It doesn’t hurt.
  • Afterwards your tooth will feel the same as normal.
  • By saving your tooth and stopping the spread of infection you’re protecting the rest of your teeth and gums and improving the chances of keeping all your natural teeth for life.

What to expect

Filling the canal chambers of the tooth root will prevent re-infection while a filling or crown will help to cover your tooth and return it to full function. While you may notice that your tooth becomes slightly discoloured over time, you should have no further problems with it.

At Smile Up we also take referrals for something called apicoectomy surgery too, when a previous root canal treatment has failed or when it’s not possible to treat and fill the existing root canals for another reason. The tooth’s root tip will be completely removed and filled, which is the only way to prevent a complete extraction of the tooth.

Root canal treatment normally takes place over one or more visits. The length of treatment will depend on your case; front teeth normally contain just one root canal whereas the back teeth can have up to four. If more than one appointment is required they will normally be spaced over weekly intervals. Your tooth will be covered and temporarily restored in between appointments.

The treatment session for a root canal has three main components:

  1. We will administer an anaesthetic to numb the area and remove the infected pulp from your tooth. Once emptied, the root canals will be cleaned, shaped if necessary (to allow space for the filling) and flushed with an anti-bacterial solution to kill any germs.
  2. The root canals are filled with an inert material called gutta-percha to seal the tooth and prevent bacteria from entering in future. Any inflamed tissue in the gum will heal naturally over time.
  3. The root canal filling is sealed in place with a permanent filling or crown. This restores the tooth to its correct shape and function. This should be done as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to the tooth.

You may experience a little discomfort or swelling in the days afterwards but this can be relieved with ibuprofen or paracetamol. Many people are terrified at the thought of having root canal treatment but if you do have an infection in the tooth, it’s likely the pain you are currently experiencing — or the potential abscess that could develop — will be much worse.

We appreciate that this is a nerve-racking procedure and will do all we can to make the process as comfortable and pleasant as possible for you. Here are some reasons why it’s better to save your tooth rather than lose it:

  • Tooth loss can cause bone shrinkage.
  • Gaps can cause problems with eating and drinking.
  • They can also affect your speech.
  • Self-confidence can be greatly impaired, particularly in the case of very visible missing teeth.
  • Oral health can be affected, with increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay due to bacteria that can collect in gaps.
  • If the extraction of a tooth is unavoidable then we are able to fit a prosthetic replacement such as a denture, bridge or dental implant.

If you’d like to make an appointment you can do it here or give us a ring on 0203 411 1550.

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Monday 9:30am – 7:30pm
Tuesday 9:30am – 7:30pm
Wednesday 9:00am – 5:30pm
Thursday 9:30am – 7:30pm
Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Saturday 9:00am – 4:30pm
Sunday Closed

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