Root canal treatment is a procedure which is carried out to either prevent or treat a dental infection.

The procedure involves cleaning out the nerve space using specialized instruments and disinfecting solutions, which can then allow the space to be filled by a plastic root filling (gutta percha). The treatment is carried out under rubber dam isolation and only single-use sterile instruments are used.

Root Canal Treatment

Once the treatment has been completed, a restoration (filling or core material) is placed. The tooth is normally crowned to help reduce the risk of fracture and/or re-contamination by sealing the outer part of the tooth.

Reviews are normally required on an annual basis to assess healing of the tissues around the root.

Sometimes root treatments may fail for a number of different reasons and it may be possible re-do the treatment in order to improve the outcome. Occasionally, root surgery may be required to treat the problem.

Case A

Failed previous treatment

Retreatment carried out

Healing of the bone at a review appointment (1 year)

Healing of the bone at a review appointment (3 years)

Case B

Failed previous treatment, carried out with a material called Russian Red

Conventional retreatment carried out to guideline standards

Healing of the bone at a review appointment (1 year)

Case C

case-c1

The nerve in this tooth had become infected over time and was associated with signs of long-standing inflammation around both roots.

case-c2

Root canal treatment was carried out in order to treat this problem and is due to be crowned shortly.

FAQ

Is root canal treatment painful?

Having a root canal treatment is often no more uncomfortable than having a filling. In fact, root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain but actually relieves it. Dr Mahya as an Endodontist understands a great deal about pain management and with advance techniques and anesthetics, majority of patients report that they are comfortable during the treatment.

Can you treat root canal infection with antibiotics?

Treating a root canal infection can only be done by manually removing the infection from the canal of the tooth. Antibiotics occasionally help suppress some symptoms but cannot treat a root canal infection because the source of infection is inside the tooth.

My tooth doesn’t bother me, do I still need root canal?

There are occasions where root canal is needed even if there is no pain. Endodontists can carry out special vitality tests on the tooth to determine whether pulp or nerve of tooth is infected and whether root canal treatment is necessary to save the tooth.

Is it better to save the tooth with root canal or remove it?

As dentists our aim is to prolong the life of a natural tooth where possible. Having your own natural teeth is essential for good eating and chewing. There is on average 80-90% chance of success from root canal treatment with a specialist endodontist. Removing the tooth may seem like the cheapest option but has consequences long terms such as:

  • Drifting and tilting of neighboring teeth leading to a more unstable bite and further problems
  • Difficulty in eating and need to replace the missing tooth with much more costly options than initial root canal.
  • Aesthetic issues arising from missing tooth visible in smile.

If you need a root filling or more complex reroot canal therapy, book a consultation with Dr Mahya to assess your tooth, discuss options and the treatment and put you mind at ease.