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24 February 2017

Why this tooth saving treatment is not as painful as you might imagine.

Root canal treatment has, for some time, had an undeserved reputation for being the ultimate in bad dental experiences. Despite the fact that thousands of people have received this restorative treatment without discomfort, this reputation seems to persist.

In fact, root canal treatment is an excellent solution where a tooth has become infected internally. Below, we take a look at what really happens during the procedure and also take a look at how it is used to enable the patient to keep their natural tooth.

Infected root canals

The root canals of the teeth are where the nerves and blood vessels are located. Normally these will be protected by the enamel exterior of our teeth. When the enamel is damaged through decay or breakage, it can expose the porous dentin layer to the bacteria in our mouth and gradually this can cause infection of the nerves in the root canals, often accompanied by very bad toothache. When this problem arises, the infected pulp cannot simply be treated, but must be removed by performing root canal treatment at our Surbiton practice.

The procedure

A root canal procedure is performed in three parts:

Preparation – A local injection is given to numb the area and prevent any pain that would otherwise be felt. The top of the tooth is then removed in order to allow access to the infected root canals.

Treatment – The infected soft pulp is removed by the dentist or sometimes a specialist endodontist, and the hollow canals cleaned to remove any remaining bacteria. This leaves an infection free tooth that is now ready to be restored.

Restoration – Once the infected pulp has been removed and the hollow canals cleaned, a material called gutta percha is used to fill the tooth. Finally, a dental crown is usually added to complete the tooth and provide it with both additional strength and a natural appearance.

The ‘myth’

Despite its reputation, root canal treatment should cause no more discomfort than most other invasive dental procedures. X-rays are always taken prior to the procedure in order to check for any abscesses. If found, these will be treated and the procedure delayed until the tooth is abscess free.

Here at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, we do understand how deeply the reputation of this procedure is embedded in many people’s minds, and are happy to discuss any aspects which may be causing you concern. For very nervous patients, intravenous sedation is also available.

For more information on this, or any other dental procedure, we can always be contacted on 020 8399 1291 where our experienced local dental team are on hand to help.

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