Root Canal Treatment

When a tooth becomes badly damaged or infected due to dental decay or trauma, a root canal treatment is often a successful way to treat and repair the tooth and avoid the need for extraction.The root canal is a chamber in the tooth that contains the dental pulp, the soft tissue at the tooth’s centre. If a cavity, crack or trauma allows bacteria to access and infect the pulp, it will begin to die and spread infection further, causing damage to the bone structure, swelling and abscesses. Signs of infection can include a loose tooth, pain when biting and chewing, swelling of the gum and darkening of the tooth colour.
In preparation for a root canal treatment, your dentist will take x-rays to assess the severity of the infection, and to compare against afterwards. During the treatment, the dentist will remove the affected part of the tooth, clean and disinfect the area, then restore the tooth (and prevent further infection) by sealing it with filling material. It’s important not to ignore signs of tooth infection, it cannot be treated with antibiotics and the dental pulp cannot self-heal. Modern root canal treatment has advanced considerably and early action significantly improves the chance of long-term retention of the tooth.

Historically, root canal treatments were renowned for being painful. However, with modern dental techniques and the use of local anaesthetic, a root canal treatment is no more uncomfortable than having a filling. The pain of an infected tooth is far greater than the discomfort of the treatment.

The treatment is usually highly successful, and if the teeth are looked after, can last a lifetime. As with all dental procedures, your personal oral hygiene routine and lifestyle habits will determine how long the results last.

You should avoid eating and biting hard foods in the days after treatment. The restored tooth is likely to be sensitive in the days after the treatment, and any discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol.

Yew Tree Dental Care are based in Slough and have many years’ experience in preserving natural teeth through root canal treatment. Our friendly team of expert dentists understand you may be anxious about dental treatments, and we’ll take the time to thoroughly talk through your options with you, to protect your teeth and restore your smile.