Root canal treatment or 'endodontics' is necessary when a tooth's nerve and blood supply becomes irreversibly damaged or infected due to dental decay or trauma.
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the damaged or infected nerve/blood supply from within the root canals of the tooth using hand or automated files and disinfectants to ensure that canal(s) are as clean as possible. The canal(s) are then filled with a rubber material which is both long lasting and biocompatible. Once this has been completed successfully, the tooth is then filled/restored. In some cases a crown or partial crown may be needed to ensure the tooth is protected from our heavy biting forces (see 'restoring teeth' tab for details).
Different teeth have different numbers of root canals, with front teeth usually having one, premolars having two and molars having up to three or even four canals. Root canal treatment is done under local anaesthesia for comfort.
Our dentists are equipped and trained to use new revolutionary rotary endodontic files and heated filling systems to ensure an even better cleaning and filling result.
Below you can see a picture which outlines the stages of root canal treatment. The infected canals are accessed using a dental drill, cleaned with files and filled with rubber material to ensure no more bacteria can enter the canals and cause reinfection. Root canal treatment in the first instance is successful in 90% of cases (dependent on which tooth is being treated and how severe the infection is). Re-Root canal treatment is less effective but is a common treatment option should the first attempt fail.