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What is Root Canal Treatment and When Might You Need One?

04 / 08 / 2022

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure used to treat an infected tooth. The infection is caused by bacteria in the mouth entering the tooth due to decay, broken fillings or damage to the teeth as a result of an accident. The most common signs of an infected tooth are pain and swelling around the affected area. However, during the early stages of infection, you may not experience any symptoms at all. Seeking root canal treatment as soon as possible will prevent the build-up of a tooth abscess and, in turn, the need to remove the affected tooth. 

At Priors Hall Dental, we’re pleased to offer our patients root canal treatment, carried out by one of our professional, experienced dentists. For more information regarding this treatment, get in touch today. 

When Do You Need To Get Root Canal Treatment? 

Patients are informed of the need to undergo root canal treatment after an x-ray has been conducted, showing that pulp (a mass of connective tissue within the centre of the tooth) has been damaged by a bacterial infection.

Initial symptoms of infection include pain when eating or drinking, pain when chewing and a loose tooth. As the infection progresses, you’re likely to experience more intense symptoms such as swelling of the gum, puss oozing from the affected tooth, a swollen cheek or jaw and the tooth darkening in colour. 

It’s important to contact your dentist as soon as you start to experience symptoms in order to prevent the infection from spreading beyond the root.

What Does Root Canal Treatment Involve? 

Root canal treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthetic, however, in a small number of cases where the tooth has died and is no longer sensitive, local anaesthetic may not be not be required. 

During root canal treatment, the dentist will remove the infection before sealing the tooth in order to protect the new filling that has been inserted. 

Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?

Despite popular belief, root canal treatment should not hurt! Everything you’ve been told about root canals causing unbearable pain is actually one big myth. In fact, it’s the root canal treatment itself which puts an end to the pain being caused by the infected tooth!

A general anaesthetic will keep the area numb throughout the whole procedure, so you won’t feel a thing. As the anaesthetic wears off and you go about your day, you may start to feel some discomfort. However, don’t panic, this can, in most cases, be managed through the use of over-the-counter pain medication. 

If you’re nervous about undergoing root canal treatment and would like to speak to an experienced professional who can offer some peace of mind, get in touch with our team today. 

How Long Does Root Canal Treatment Last?

A root canal treatment  is typically performed in one or two appointments, each of which may last from 30-60 minutes.

 If the infected tooth requires a dental crown, that may take longer to treat. In most cases, this step will require another appointment to ensure your tooth has fully healed before the crown is inserted. 

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

Acting upon your dentist’s advice to undergo root canal treatment comes with a number of significant benefits. First and foremost, a root canal prevents the need for tooth extraction, preserving your natural smile. The treatment of infection also prevents neighbouring teeth succumbing to a similar fate by removing bacteria and preventing the spread of infection elsewhere in the mouth. 

Not only can root canal treatment salvage a tooth, it can also help prevent future complications of the jawbone. Missing teeth often cause the jawbone to degenerate over time, by treating the tooth before removal is necessary, you’ll also help to lower the likelihood of jawbone deterioration in years to come. 

Lastly, a slightly more obvious benefit of undertaking root canal treatment, is the positive impact it will have on your health. Left untreated, root canals can cause extreme pain and discomfort. 

What to Expect After a Root Canal Treatment 

Post-root canal treatment, your restored tooth should no longer be painful, however, the affected area may feel sore for a few days. In order to relieve discomfort, it’s recommended that patients take over-the-counter painkillers until the swelling subsides. 

In order to prevent the need for further root canal treatment, it’s important to stay on top of your daily oral care routine. Regular check-ups are also advised to ensure your teeth remain in optimum condition.

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of regular check-ups and to book your first routine consultation with us today, get in touch. 

For more information on the root canal treatment we offer at Priors Hall Dental, call us today on 01536 214 144 and one of our experienced team members will be happy to offer expert advice. 

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4 Holland Square, Hampstead Road, NN17 5GT

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