Inside all our teeth, there is a chamber that stretches from the crown down to the roots and the soft tissues which includes nerves and blood vessels, known as the pulp. The hard exterior of the tooth protects the pulp, but if there is a breach to the tooth the pulp becomes vulnerable to bacteria.  Having an infection inside the tooth is often painful so treating it as soon as possible is essential. Root canal treatment is an effective treatment for removing the infection and relieving any dental pain caused by the issue.

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal therapy (or endodontics) involves removing infected pulp from the innermost part of the tooth. This prevents the infection from spreading and can help save a tooth that may otherwise have to be extracted. To keep the structure intact, the canals are shaped, plugged and sealed off with a filling.

Why will you need a root canal?

  • Can save an infected tooth from extraction
  • Removes a source of infection that could spread to other areas
  • Prevents further problems that could be caused by losing a tooth
  • Can relieve toothache
  • Less expensive than replacing a lost tooth

Frequently Asked Question

How much does endodontic treatment cost?

The cost of an endodontic procedure varies depending on how severe the problem is and the type of tooth. Molars with two or three canals are more difficult to treat and the fee will therefore be more.

Are there any alternatives to root canal treatment?

The alternative is to have the tooth out. Once the nerve is destroyed it can’t heal, and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. Although some people would prefer to have the tooth out, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

A ‘dead’ tooth is more brittle, so you may need to have a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.

Does root canal treatment hurt?

No, it doesn’t. Usually, a local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done. There may be some tenderness afterwards but this should gradually get less over time.

Can root canal treatment be repeated?

Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, if the infection comes back, the treatment process can sometimes be repeated effectively. Your dentist will be able to advise you of the best course of action in your case.