Root canal treatment are three little words that nobody wants to hear. It can have even the bravest of dental patients feeling somewhat anxious – but in reality, it is nothing to fear. If your dentist says you need it, they are trying to save a tooth that’s at risk of being lost.
There have been rapid advances in dental techniques and technology over the past few decades, meaning that root canal treatment won’t feel any different to having a standard filling. Your appointment is likely to last longer, however, as this is a skilled and delicate procedure. The length of the procedure will also depend on which tooth is affected, and how many root canals it has.
At Ladbroke Grove Dental Care in W10, most patients who have root canal treatment only need a local anaesthetic, which will numb the affected tooth and ensure that you feel no pain. If you are a very nervous dental patient you should speak to your dentist about sedation options prior to your appointment.
Why you need root canal treatment
The purpose of root canal treatment is to cleanse a tooth of infection. Teeth can become infected through dental decay, or by breakages, chips, or cracks. That’s why even a minor crack should prompt a visit to your dentist, because even a tiny crack is enough to let bacteria enter your tooth.
Infection is often accompanied by a painful swelling – a dental abscess – and if it isn’t treated promptly and effectively it can lead to tooth loss.
How treatment works
The majority of root canal procedures require two or more appointments at our Ladbroke Grove dental clinic. At the first appointment your dentist will numb your tooth and will remove all traces of infection from the pulp at the centre of the tooth, removing all traces of infection using special tools.
You will have a temporary filling fitted so that the tooth can settle. After approximately a week you will be called back to the dental practice for a second appointment, at which your dentist will check the infection has fully cleared, before permanently filling the tooth.
It is often recommended to have a crown placed to reinforce a root-treated tooth, giving it a natural appearance.