When pain arises from a tooth, the tooth may have become infected and require root canal treatment. Tests such as vitality tests, percussion tests and digital X-rays are carried out first to see if a tooth needs root canal treatment. Root canal treatment is usually carried out over 2 visits. During the first visit we remove the infected tooth tissue and stop the toothache and during the second visit we ensure that the root canals are well cleaned and sealed.
When we carry out root canal treatment, we first anaesthetize the tooth fully to ensure that the treatment is carried out comfortably. For those patients who are anxious or nervous about root canal treatment, we also offer IV sedation for extra peace of mind for anxious patients.
We then isolate the tooth with a rubber dam to ensure that the field is kept as sterile as possible and new bacteria contamination of the tooth by saliva is avoided. Wearing a rubber dam will feel strange at first but most patients find wearing the rubber dam for the duration of the root canal treatment easy and reassuring.
We use modern flexible titanium rotary files with specialist rotary motors to ensure that the tooth canals are shaped efficiently. We only use our root canal files once, in order to minimize fracture and reduce risk of cross infection.
We use high tech apex locators to establish the length of canals accurately and to reduce the radiographic dose to patients. We thoroughly clean the canals with powerful disinfectants to destroy the bacteria colonies within the tooth.
Finally the root canals are filled with gutta percha root canal filling material to prevent re-infection of the tooth. The tooth is usually filled with a composite core material and patients will be advised to have a dental crown soon after root canal treatment to prevent tooth fracture or root canal leakage.
You may experience some post-operative pain which usually settles down with pain killers. Root canal success rate ranges from 70-90% over 5 years. Root canal treated teeth can discolour, however once they are crowned this tooth dicolouration will be hidden. Our dentists are highly experienced and have carried out hundreds of root canal treatments.