Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal is a phrase that strikes fear into most people. Pain and money are the first two things you think of. Correct? With good dentistry we can mitigate this.


Root Canal Treatment involves the disinfection of the pulp or “nerve” inside your tooth. This area is composed of multiple blood vessels and nerves and cells with a similar composition to bone marrow. Unfortunately, due to this nutrient rich area, bacteria flourish rapidly. The immune system is incapable of dealing with the infection here and the tooth subsequently dies.

Another situation where a root canal may be required but without bacterial infection is as a result of trauma, where damage to the pulp cannot be healed by the body and the cells within die. These dead cells attract an inflammatory response and lead to similar outcomes as with an infected pulp.

Symptoms include:

  • Swollen face
  • Swollen gum area where tooth is dying
  • Pain, which can be quite extreme
  • Pimple like area on gum
  • Sensitive or sore due to hot or cold temperatures
  • Sensitive or sore due to pressure, especially tapping or biting
At times there may be no symptoms, where teeth can quietly die, however that is unlikely to remain the case. Eventually symptoms do usually present themselves and can be quite severe when they do. For greater personal comfort and greater chances of success it is recommended to have root canal therapy performed sooner to avoid further problems presenting.


This procedure may need to be completed over several visits. The dentist will make an opening in the top of the infected tooth where the necrotic pulp and bacteria are flushed out with disinfectant and the root canals are cleaned and shaped with fine files. Between visits anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial medicines are then put inside the canals, and throughout your treatment X-rays are used to confirm the length of your canals and that the infection has reduced and begun to heal.

On your final visit, to protect the inside of the tooth and prevent any further infection, the canal is packed with gutta-percha, a firm material to prevent re-infection. A definitive restoration will be placed and if there is more loss of tooth structure, a post will also need to be cemented into one of the worked canals, assisting in supporting the remaining tooth. Afterwards the tooth becomes somewhat brittle and will be more prone to fractures, to prevent this in most cases a crown will be recommended.


Remove The Tooth – Removing The Tooth Will Leave A Gap That May Need To Be Replaced By An Artificial Tooth.

Leave The Tooth Untreated – If Left Untreated The Infection Can Spread And Dead Tissue May Cause Damage To Nearby Structures. Bone Loss And Spread Of Infection May Extend To Neighbouring Teeth. Pus Can Build Up And Cysts May Also Develop And Need Further Treatment. Pain Is Likely To Worsen Here.


Thanks to the use of local anaesthetics, we are able to completely numb up the nerves responsible for pain in the area, so you will not feel a thing during treatment. However, when inflammation occurs certain “touch” nerves can elicit pain responses. Unfortunately, these do not numb up as successfully meaning some additional injections may be required, and discomfort may still be partially felt. This usually only occurs in very painful or “hot” teeth where the infection is extreme. This will usually only be the first visit if you presented with a tooth-ache, otherwise you are unlikely to feel anything at all. When you return for the next phase the anaesthetic should work with full proficiency. In fact, you may even fall asleep during the remaining parts of your procedure. This is another reason to state the importance of addressing teeth requiring root canal treatment sooner rather than later.


Like any medical procedure, a root canal treatment poses some risk and, on rare occasions, there may be complications. These complications may result in a tooth needing additional treatment, referral to a specialist or may result in the tooth needing to be removed. However, in most cases root canal treatment is very successful.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A root canal treatment involves the removal of the infected or damaged pulp (the inner core of the tooth) to save the remaining healthy structure of the tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the interior of the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and sealed to prevent future infections.
Thanks to modern anaesthetics and advanced techniques employed at Smile Design Dental, root canal treatments are generally no more painful than getting a filling. Our expert dentists are skilled in ensuring that the procedure is as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
A root canal treatment generally requires one to three visits to our clinic, with each session lasting about 40-90 minutes. The exact duration can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the condition of the tooth.
After the procedure, it’s normal to experience some tenderness and inflammation in the treated area. However, these symptoms are temporary and can be managed effectively with over-the-counter pain medication. We provide detailed aftercare guidance to help you manage your recovery smoothly. Ultimately, your symptoms should improve very quickly following treatment.
Root canal treatments have a high success rate, with many treated teeth lasting a lifetime. At Smile Design Dental, we leverage state-of-the-art technology and the expertise of seasoned dentists to further enhance the success rate of our treatments.
Preventing the need for a future root canal treatment involves maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing. Additionally, regular dental check-ups can help in identifying and treating issues before they escalate to the point of requiring a root canal.
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