Root Canal Treatment in Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Charlbury Dental Practice
The Spendlove Centre, Enstone Road, Charlbury, Oxfordshire OX7 3PQ

General Dentistry » root canal treatment

Root canal treatment, or root filling, involves taking the nerve out of a tooth and placing an inert material, usually gutta percha, in the resulting empty nerve canals.

Why is root canal treatment needed?

Root canal treatment is needed to save a tooth when the nerve in the tooth dies and the root gets infected. This can happen because of decay, injury, or simply because a tooth has had to be heavily restored over time.

If the pulp becomes infected, the infection will spread through the root canal system of the tooth and may lead to an abscess in the bone at the end of the root.

If root canal treatment is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.

Is a root filling painful?

No. A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.

What does it involve?

The aim of the treatment is to remove as much as possible of the infection from the root canal. The root canals are shaped, cleaned and thoroughly disinfected to prevent any further infection.

Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure and may involve more than one visit to your dentist. The first may be an emergency visit when you have toothache either from a dying nerve or from an abscess. Priority will be given to relieving your pain by draining any abscess which may be present, and placing a root dressing and a temporary filling.

At a follow-up appointment the root canal will be cleaned, shaped and disinfected. When your dentist is satisfied that the infection is gone, the tooth can be permanently root filled and subsequently restored.

Will the treatment be successful?

There is a very good chance of success although this can never be guaranteed because of the sometimes complex shape of the nerve canals which can make them difficult to clean and disinfect fully. Once the root has been filled successfully, your own immune system will work to heal the inflamed tissues. Your dentist will monitor root filled teeth to check on healing.

What happens to a tooth after it is root filled?

A tooth with no nerve may get darker after a root filling. This is not normally a problem with back teeth but may be a concern in a front tooth. Ways to overcome this include bleaching that tooth or making a veneer or a crown for it. If a root filled tooth has a crown, it is likely to need a post fitted into the root to support the crown. A root filled tooth will be weaker than it was, both because a dead tooth is more brittle and because the structure is unavoidably weakened by having to drill into it. Hence it is often necessary or advisable to restore the tooth with a strong restoration such as a crown or a CEREC®.

How much will it cost?

This will depend on whether it is a back or front tooth, and how many visits are needed. See our fee guide.

What if I don’t have the root canal treatment?

The alternative is to have the tooth out. Once the pulp is destroyed, it can’t heal and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth.

Although some people would prefer an extraction it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

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