Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice

The Government has recently advised the public to stay at home, and for dentists to avoid aerosol-generating treatments. In practical terms, this is most of the things that we would do. In view of this, we are cancelling all routine check-up and treatment appointments for the foreseeable future.

We are operating on an emergency-only basis on weekday mornings. Without high-protection PPE, this does put our staff and patients at some degree of risk.

If you have an urgent need for treatment and no-one in your household is symptomatic, please call 01784 253140 as early as possible in the morning for us to triage you and offer advice or an appointment if necessary.

Root Canal Treatment

Within every tooth, there is a soft tissue core which is called the pulp. It contains the nerves which give you feeling from that tooth and blood vessels to keep the nerves healthy. Several things can damage the pulp and unfortunately, it is not always very good at healing.

Some of the most common causes of this damage are

  • extensive tooth decay,
  • previous restorations, particularly deep fillings and crowns,
  • advanced gum disease, and
  • trauma, such as from an accidental injury or repeated pressure from an opposing tooth.

When the pulp is damaged, it may die off quietly or it may develop acute pulpitis first, which causes a very bad toothache. Once the pulp dies, the soft tissue rots inside the tooth and becomes colonised with bacteria which proliferate. This eventually leads to an abscess forming at the tip of the root. In either of these cases (i.e. abscess or pulpitis), the choice of remedy is either to carry out a root canal treatment or extract the whole tooth.

Root canal treatment involves cleaning any pulp debris from inside the roots of the tooth with special files and repeated washing. Once cleaned and dried, the root canal is filled with a rubber material called gutta percha. The aim is to eliminate any space within the root canal system for bacteria to grow. If successful, the tooth will survive free of infection and pain for many years to come. However, the complexity of the treatment, especially in the back teeth, means that there is a higher chance of failure than with most other dental procedures and sometimes the tooth may ultimately need to be extracted.

Root-filled teeth are generally more brittle than a live tooth so they are more likely to break piece off and often require crowning as well.

Treatment category: