Understanding Root Canal Treatment

Preserving a natural tooth that has become infected.

At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, our aim is to try to ensure that our patients retain as many of their natural teeth as possible. Good general oral health care and regular check ups at our Burton practice play a large part in this preventative strategy.

Occasionally, problems do arise and treatment is necessary. General problems such as decay or breakages can often be resolved with a simple dental filling, or the use of a crown for extra strength. When the root of a tooth becomes infected, a procedure known as root canal treatment, or root canal therapy, can often be used to save the tooth rather than have to extract it.

Root canal treatment

This procedure is often misunderstood and has a somewhat undeserved reputation for pain. We can assure you that, in the hands of our experienced Burton family dentists, this procedure should prove to be no more uncomfortable than most other invasive dental procedures. Before the procedure starts, x rays are taken to check for any signs of an abscess. If these are found, the procedure will be postponed whilst they are treated and once free of any abscesses, the treatment can begin.

First of all, you will be given a local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort and, once this has taken full effect, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the treatment by first of all removing the top of the tooth, exposing the root canals and the infected material within them.

The soft infected materials in the root canals, which include both tiny blood vessels and nerves, are then removed and the canals thoroughly cleaned to remove any traces of bacteria and infection. A filling, called Gutta Percha, is then used to fill the hollow canals. Finally, to give the tooth a natural appearance and for additional strength, a crown is added to complete the tooth.

Taking care of your root canal filled tooth

Your newly treated tooth will have no sensation due to the removal of the nerves but still needs to be kept clean, both to prevent decay of the enamel and also to prevent gum disease. Regular brushing, flossing and check ups at our Burton practice are an essential part of this. As the tooth lacks sensation, it is important to take care when biting down on hard objects as you may bite down harder than intended, potentially causing damage to the tooth. In general though, a root canal treated tooth should provide sufficient strength for your daily eating habits.

If you live in the Burton area and wish to register with a practice for either cosmetic or general dentistry, which has been established here for a long time (over thirty years!), please contact Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345.