A Closer Look At Root Canal Treatment

How this often misunderstood treatment can save teeth.

An experienced dentist who has had to tell a patient that a root canal treatment is necessary will have seen the look of foreboding on the patient’s face. This is hardly surprising seeing as it seems to have gained a reputation for one of the most painful things that can possibly happen to you.

But is a root canal procedure really that painful?


A simple answer to the above question is no. However, it is worth taking a look at why it may have gained this reputation. First of all, we have to look at the changes in dentistry over time. As well as advanced training for UK dentists, dental practices across the UK, including your own Wickford dentists, have invested a lot of money in the latest technology.

Whilst all of these contribute to better dental care, it is perhaps x-rays which have contributed the most to easier root canal treatment for patients. Before x-rays, it would have been impossible for any dentist to have known what he would discover when entering the tooth to perform a root canal procedure. Because of this, it is highly likely that a number of patients who had an infected inner tooth would have also had an abscess hidden away too. As the dentist would not be aware of this, there is every chance that he or she would come sharply into contact with the abscess which would be extremely painful indeed.

These days, if an abscess is found when a root canal is needed, it will be treated using antibiotics before the procedure starts.

The root canal procedure

In fact, the root canal procedure is a relatively straightforward procedure that can save a tooth that would otherwise have to be extracted. To perform the procedure, a strong local anaesthetic will be given so that any discomfort will be minimised. The top of the infected tooth is then removed and the infected inner pulp, including the nerves, removed. The hollow tooth is then cleaned right to the roots and a special filling applied. Once this has been done, a dental crown is added to the top of the treated tooth, both to give it a natural appearance, but also to give it additional strength.

The restored tooth is now, in effect, dead in that it no longer has any feeling. Whilst the new dental crown should offer sufficient strength for everyday use, care should be taken not to exert undue force on the root treated tooth.

Our Wickford dental team are always happy to talk you through any procedure and help to dispel the myths that sometimes grow up around dental procedures.

All appointments can be made by calling the Cygnet Dental Practice on 01268 733078.