Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that aims to save a tooth that is infected or damaged by removing the bacteria and decay from the inside of the tooth. The tooth is then filled and sealed to prevent further problems. Root canal treatment can help relieve pain, prevent tooth loss, and restore the function and appearance of the tooth.

What causes the need for root canal treatment?

The inside of each tooth contains a soft tissue called pulp, which consists of blood vessels and nerves. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth (the visible part) to the root of the tooth (the part below the gum line). The root canal is the space within the root that contains the pulp.

When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it can cause pain and sensitivity in the tooth. The infection can be caused by various factors, such as:

  • Tooth decay that reaches the pulp
  • Cracked or broken tooth or filling that allows bacteria to enter the pulp
  • Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth that damage the pulp
  • Trauma or injury to the tooth that exposes the pulp

If left untreated, the infection can spread to the bone and surrounding tissues, causing an abscess (a pus-filled swelling) and bone loss. The infection can also affect your general health, as bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause serious complications.

Root Canal Wilmslow

How is a root canal treatment performed?

The procedure may take one or more visits, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of roots involved.

Your dentist will examine your tooth and take an X-ray to assess the extent of the damage and infection.

We will numb your tooth and surrounding area with a local anaesthetic to make you comfortable during the procedure.

A rubber dam is used to isolate your tooth from saliva and bacteria.

A small hole is drilled in your tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canal.

We use special instruments called files, to remove the infected and dead pulp tissue from the root canal. We will then clean and shape the root canal to prepare it for the filling.

The root canal will be flushed with water or an antibacterial solution to remove any debris and to disinfect it.

The dentist will fill the root canal with a rubber-like material, which seals the space and prevents reinfection. We will also place a temporary filling on top of the rubber material to close the hole in your tooth.

The rubber dam will be removed and another X-ray is taken to check that the root canal is properly filled.

You will need to return for a follow-up visit to restore your tooth with a permanent filling or a crown. A crown is a cap that covers your entire tooth and protects it from further damage. A crown may be necessary if your tooth is weak or has lost a lot of its structure.

What are the benefits and risks of root canal treatment?

The benefits of root canal treatment include:

  • Saving your natural tooth and avoiding extraction
  • Relieving pain and discomfort caused by infection
  • Preventing further complications such as abscess, bone loss, and systemic infection
  • Restoring the function and appearance of your tooth

The risks of root canal treatment include:

  • Failure of the treatment due to incomplete removal of infection, leakage of filling material, or reinfection
  • Damage to adjacent teeth, nerves, or tissues during the procedure
  • Post-operative pain, swelling, or bleeding
  • Fracture or loss of your tooth due to decay or trauma

How much does root canal treatment cost?

The cost of root canal treatment depends on several factors, such as:

  • The location and type of your tooth (front teeth have fewer roots than back teeth)
  • The complexity and duration of the procedure
  • The materials and equipment used for filling and restoring your tooth

Root canal treatments start from £650. If you are worried about a tooth and would like to know your options, please do not hesitate to book your dental assessment today.

What are some alternatives to root canal treatment?

The main alternative to root canal treatment is extraction (removal) of your infected or damaged tooth. However, this option has some disadvantages, such as:

  • Losing your natural tooth and its function
  • Affecting your bite, speech, and appearance
  • Creating a gap that may allow other teeth to shift or become crooked
  • Requiring a replacement such as a denture, bridge, or implant, which may be more costly and complex than root canal treatment

Therefore, root canal treatment is usually the preferred option in the first instance to save your tooth and prevent further problems. However, each case is different, and it is recommended to book a dental assessment to see which is the most suitable option for you.