What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment (‘endodontics’) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (‘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 can lead to an abscess. If root canal treatment is not done, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.

Does root canal treatment hurt?
No. Usually, a local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.

What does it involve?
Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to your dentist.

  1. At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed and any abscesses can be drained. 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.
  2. At the second appointment we make check to make sure the infection has cleared then the tooth is permanently filled.

What will my tooth look like after treatment?
If there is any discolouration to the tooth afterwards, there are several treatments that will 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 sometimes be repeated.

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.

Will the tooth be safe after treatment?
Yes. However, because a ‘dead’ tooth is more brittle, you will likely need to have a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.

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

How do I care for my tooth afterwards?
Root-treated teeth should be looked after just the same as any other tooth.