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What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal

Teeth are held in the jaw by their roots. Front teeth normally have one root but teeth further back in your mouth will have two, three or four.

Inside, there are nerves and a blood supply in the 'root canal'. When the tooth is healthy the nerves are alive but decay or injury can cause the nerves to die. A dead nerve inside a tooth can cause an abscess at the end of a root.

Root filling means removing damaged or dead nerves and filling the space left. The remaining tooth can then be repaired.


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What does the dentist do?

  • An x-ray will show the shape of the root canals and whether there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Some tooth roots are easier to fill than others because of their shape. Sometimes the x-ray will suggest that a root filling is unlikely to be successful. Your dentist will discuss this with you.
  • The area near the tooth is numbed first so that the root filling is painless.
  • To keep canals dry during treatment the dentist may stretch a sheet of thin sheer rubber around the tooth on a metal or plastic frame outside the mouth. This shouldn't be uncomfortable.
  • A hole is made in the tooth and enlarged until the dentist can see the opening to the root canal.
  • Narrow files are used to find all the root canals and remove the dead nerves.
  • Further x-rays may be taken to measure the length of the root canals or the dentist may do this using an electronics device.
  • Roots are filled with rubbery materials and with pastes which set hard.

A root filling often needs more than one visit. The tooth could still be tender for a day or two afterwards and you might need to take mild pain killer.


What are the benefits?

    Usually needing a root canal treatment would have meant you were experiencing a high level of discomfort in your mouth which, if untreated, could ultimately lead to the loss of the tooth. The benefit of a root canal treatment procedure once the problem is spotted is:

  • Nerve damage can cause severe toothache but the pain will usually end very quickly when the root canal is cleaned out.
  • Without a root filling a tooth with a dead nerve would probably have to be extracted.
  • Root fillings are usually successful and can last many years.
  • Sometimes infection returns (the tooth will ache and become painful to bite on) but re-treatment can be successful.


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About us

enVisage dental is a collection of private dental clinics who have a vision to change your perception of dentistry. We take pride in providing 'feel good dentistry' with clear results and our teams are passionate about delivering happiness to our patients, that's because every smile matters to us. All our dental clinics use the latest technology and facilities to treat our patients along with a long standing team of professionals ready to care for you.

We offer all our patients a monthly membership at just £15.95 to ensure all your bi-annual Healthy Mouth Reviews and Hygiene Visits are covered. Members also benefit from 10% to 20% off our treatments, worldwide emergency dental cover + flash sales. Experience the difference today with our new patient consultation for just £89 which includes a complimentary Hygiene appointment for 30 minutes as well as your Healthy Mouth Review with our dentist - offer available for a limited time only.