Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is required after bacteria enter the tooth, causing the pulpal tissues in the centre of the tooth to become inflamed or infected. This often, but not always, results in pain, and in more severe cases, swelling. In some cases however, this process causes few symptoms and the problem tooth may only be picked up incidentally when your dentist takes an x-ray.
The treatment options for such teeth are either root canal treatment or extraction. Root canal treatment is the only option to save and retain your own natural tooth.
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the inflamed or infected dental pulp tissue, shaping, disinfection and filling of the root canals and restoration of the tooth. A crown or onlay is often advised subsequently, to provide a seal against recontamination and to protect the tooth from fracture.
At Carriage Works, the majority of our root canal treatment is carried out by Natalie , who is our dentist with Special Interest in Endodontics, having completed her MSc at UCL Eastman Dental Institute in 2017. You may be referred to Natalie, dependent on the complexity of your case. All treatments are carried out to the highest standards, with the use of the dental operating microscope.
This is what to expect at each of your appointments:
- Consultation: Natalie will ask questions about the tooth and the history of the problem and a thorough examination will be carried out. An x-ray will be taken and Natalie will discuss the diagnosis and treatment options with you in detail before deciding on the most appropriate treatment plan. You will be given a print out of the treatment plan, to take home with you.
- Initiating treatment: The treatment plan will be confirmed prior to commencing treatment. The tooth will then be numbed using local anaesthetic, ensuring that you are comfortable for the duration of the appointment. The restoration will be removed from the tooth, to check that the tooth is not cracked or decayed, that it is definitely saveable and that it can be sealed against further bacterial leakage. For a back tooth, a temporary metal band may be cemented in place at this stage, to seal the tooth and protect it from fracture during treatment. The remainder of the treatment will be carried out under rubber dam. This is a rubber sheet that is placed over the tooth to keep it clean and isolated. The root canals will then be located, filed and disinfected. Disinfection involves flushing the canals with solution and the placement of an inter-appointment dressing. If an inter-appointment dressing is advised, the tooth will be restored with a temporary filling at this stage.
- Completing treatment: At the next appointment (two appointments may or may not be needed), the tooth will be reassessed to ensure that there are no remaining clinical signs of infection. The temporary dressing will be removed and the canals cleaned and filled up. A seal will be placed over the root filling and either a permanent or temporary restoration will be placed, dependent on the requirements of the referring dentist. It is likely that a crown or onlay will be advised for a back tooth and this should be placed as soon as possible.
- Review: A review appointment will be made for a year after treatment. At this appointment, the tooth will be examined and an x-ray taken to check for healing.