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Root canal treatment

Until recently, root canal treatment was viewed by many people as the dental treatment to try and avoid at all costs. But the reality is that modern root canal procedures provide an excellent way of saving a tooth which, in the past, would have had to be extracted.

Preventing tooth loss

Root canal treatment is usually recommended when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected, either through decay or injury. The pulp is the soft bit inside the tooth, and runs right through the root, carrying the nerve supply and nutrients.

Dr Surendra has always gone out of his way to makes us welcome calm any fears we may have, and give us great treatment.
- Gabrielle Ross

If the infection is not removed, it can cause an abscess, which can be extremely painful, and damage the bone around the tooth. Without treatment, the tooth is likely to have to be removed, and the patient will need to replace it with dentures, bridgework or a dental implant.

One-visit treatments

During the first visit we will need to remove the infected pulp. We numb the tooth and the surrounding area first so that you do not feel any pain, and then use special tiny tools to take the pulp away. We also shape the root canal so it is easier to fill. Where possible we will try to complete the treatment in one visit.

If the tooth needs to settle down, we will give it a temporary filling. Sometimes this will include medication to help destroy any germs and prevent further infection.

On your next visit we will examine the tooth to ensure that the infection has cleared properly, and will replace the temporary filling with a permanent one.

Ongoing professional care

We advise that the tooth is reviewed after 6 – 12 months after the root canal therapy as the tooth will become more brittle as it no longer has the nutrients form the nerve and blood supply to keep it flexible. A crown or onlay in normally recommended to strengthen the tooth to prevent any further damage occurring.

This page was last updated on 18 of July 2011

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