Root canal therapy (or endodontics) involves the removal of 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.
The pulp is made up of soft tissue, including nerves and blood vessels, and extends from the crown to the tips of the root. Damage to the pulp is normally caused by decay, a deep filling or trauma to the tooth. Symptoms can include pain, increased sensitivity to temperature, discolouration of the affected tooth, a metallic taste, gum tenderness or swelling.
Root canal therapy usually requires several appointments and will depend on the type of tooth being treated. When the tooth has been prepared, it will be covered and temporarily restored until the next appointment.
- The infected pulp is removed under a local anaesthetic and the root canals are flushed with an anti-bacterial solution.
- The canals are expertly shaped with tiny, flexible instruments and washed again to remove any debris.
- The freshly cleaned root canals are then filled to seal the tooth and prevent bacteria from entering.
- The tooth is finally topped off with a permanent filling or crown to help restore tooth shape and functionality.
Specialist Referral for Root Canal Treatment
Mark accepts referrals from colleagues for specialist root canal treatment. Mark is a Specialist Endodontist with the UK General Dental Council. GDC 50091. He is a member of American Association of Endodontics, and the European Society for Endodontology as well as the British Endodontic Society.
Enhanced magnification using clinical microscopes and digitised radiographs help with complex cases where canals are difficult to find and also to negotiate and treat.
Why see a Specialist Endodontist?
Root treatments are technically demanding, taking time to do properly. The complete root system must be cleaned to remove dead or dying pulp, and their causative bacteria. Enhanced cleaning and shaping techniques are used by specialists to achieve higher success rates under a rubber dam for sterility and patient safety. Constant practice by doing this work as a treatment procedure is important for long term success. If you have been referred by your dentist, it is because your dentist wants the best treatment available for you.
Specialists are up to date with all root treatment and developments in this one area of dentistry. I have advanced training with postgraduate degrees and Royal College diplomas in this field. Experience, armed with our specialist microscopes, ultrasonic techniques and digital radiographs all contribute to enhanced success ratio not available elsewhere.
Treating a failing tooth previously treated from another practice is the most difficult task of all. Bacteria often have established themselves, and can be sometimes impossible to deal with particularly if left for too long. Dismantling previous treatment is time consuming and will take longer than a routine case. Two, sometimes three visits are needed, and each tooth carefully assessed on its likelihood of success and its importance before attempting such work. An extra visit is often needed.
If looked after properly, your root canal treated tooth should remain trouble-free. Even though the pulp has been removed, the tooth will stay intact as the canals have been sealed and re-infection prevented. Regular check-ups are recommended so any problems can be detected early.